Those who read or watched Hurricane Katrina coverage may have noticed a familiar object on our cover: Fats Domino’s baby grand piano. As you enter Louisiana State Museum’s new permanent exhibit, “Living With Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond,” you’re presented with the arresting site of this piano on a small stage, positioned just as it was found, lying on its side and missing large pieces. Above you hang clear glass bottles; each is filled with a different prayer – one bottle for each life lost. Reaching out among these bottles are blue glass hands, representing the volunteers who continue to help in the rebuilding.
The 6,700-square-foot exhibit combines artifacts, images, personal accounts and videos to showcase all aspects of the story of New Orleans’ relationship with hurricanes – past, present and future.
Those of you familiar with this magazine may wonder why we’re featuring an exhibit that’s already open rather than a gala that has yet to occur. We, along with Louisiana Museum Foundation President Thomas P. Westervelt, Exhibition Patron Co-chair Sally Lapeyre and Exhibition Committee Co-chairs Daryl Byrd and Ruthie Frierson want to encourage you to visit this exhibit. We choose to live in New Orleans because of all of the things that we love about this city; along with those pros are the large cons of hurricanes. If we cannot learn from our past, as the saying goes, we will be doomed to repeat it.
“Living With Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond,” Louisiana State Museum’s Presbytère, 751 Chartres St. on Jackson Square. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. (800) 568-6968.
Special thanks to Louisiana State Museum’s Tourist Information Consultant Erin Kinchen and Executive Director of the Louisiana State Museum Foundation Susan Maclay for all of their gracious assistance.