Post-Hurricane Katrina
Research and Recovery Work

Frederick D. Weil
Department of Sociology
Louisiana State University


Documentary Film on Katrina Recovery:
Initial Clips

We have begun shooting a documentary film about Katrina recovery in Greater New Orleans. This film will accompany our research, and is meant to give a vivid sense of the people, their recovery strategies, the work they've done, and their successes.

As of mid-2013, we have videotaped over 125 interviews - some 400-500 hours - with community members and leaders, or community events; and we have several more in the planning stage. Each of these are in-depth, 2-3 hour sessions, usually with multiple cameras. They include:

  • Neighborhood Groups (35) - including: the 7th Ward, Broadmoor, Bywater, Central City, Desire, the French Quarter, Gentilly, Gert Town, Lakeview, the Lower 9th Ward, Melia, Mid City, New Orleans East, Pontilly, Treme, the Upper 9th Ward

  • Religious and Ethnic Communities (14) - including: Church/Denominational leaders, the Vietnamese community, the Jewish community

  • The Cultural Community (35) - including:
    • Musicians (8)
    • Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs (18)
    • Mardi Gras Indians (12)

  • Umbrella Groups (19) - organizations that coordinate community groups
  • Business Groups (6) - including young, entrepreneurial groups like 504ward, Launch Pad, Net2NO Meetup
  • Government (10)
  • Service Providers, Nonprofits (8)

We have also begun a series of photographic "portraits" of New Orleans neighborhoods since Katrina. See this page for links to some of the neighborhood portraits.

Preliminary clips are shown here. Watch for more.

A "first cut" overview for the documentary we hope to make.
A 15 minute film by David Maddox.

Community Strategies of Disaster Recovery,
Illustrated with Five Neighborhoods.

Lakeview's Rapid Organization for Recovery:
The benefits of having a neighborhood association before the storm hit.

Al Petrie served as President of the
Lakeview Civic Improvement Association after Hurricane Katrina.

Founded in 1924, it is the oldest neighborhood association in New Orleans.
In this clip Al describes how Lakeview residents mobilized and quickly organized themselves
to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, which hit their neighborhood very hard.

Capacity College: The Importance of Independence
and Cooperation among Neighorhood Associations.

Audrey Browder is one of the leading citizen activists in New Orleans.
She was President of the Central City Partnership, Project Manager for the Pontilly Association,
and co-founder of Capacity College, among many other civic activities.
In this clip she stresses that neighborhood associations need to maintain their independence
and work collaboratively with each other.

New Civic Leaders and Empowerment:
1. The Beacon of Hope Model.

Denise Thornton is Founder and CEO of the Beacon of Hope Resource Center,
and one of the top civic leaders of the Recovery.
In this clip she describes how she got involved in community affairs after Hurricane Katrina
and how she developed the recovery model that Beacon used and now brings to other neighborhoods..


New Civic Leaders and Empowerment:
2. Learning from Capacity College.

Katherine Prevost is President of the Bunny Friend Neighborhood Association in the Upper Ninth Ward.
In this clip she describes how she got involved in community affairs after Hurricane Katrina
and how she learned how to make her voice heard.
She is surrounded by artwork by community members at her community center.

The Roots of Music, after-school music program for middle school kids

Interview with Derrick Tabb in Treme, where he grew up.
Derrick is snare drummer for the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band
and Director of the Roots of Music after-school music program
for kids age 8-14, which I helped him start.
In this clip, he describes the culture he is working to preserve.


A Father Talks about the Roots of Music.
Walter Givens, who has worked in law enforcement,
says the kids feel loved, and they form life-long friendships,
even across different sections of town where gangs often otherwise form.

A Beautiful Day - Purim at the Uptown JCC:
The New Orleans Jewish community is not just coming back; "We're Back!"

Asked if the Jewish community is coming back, Allan Bissinger says,
"We're back; we just have to let everybody know it."

Allan Bissinger, past-President of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans,
and Yonah Schiller, Hillel Director, enjoy a beautiful day at the Purim festival
at the Uptown Jewish Community Center.

Sue Press of the Ole & Nu Style Fellas on Mentoring.

Sue Press is founder & president of the "Ole & Nu Style Fellas"
Social Aid & Pleasure Club in Treme.
Here she discusses the importance of mentoring young people
and giving them positive alternatives.

Scenes from Post-Katrina New Orleans ("B-Roll").

Scenes from different communities in Post-Katrina New Orleans:
Neighborhood associations, the Jewish & Vietnamese communities,
Social aid & pleasure clubs, Mardi Gras Indians, Congo Square,
Young entrepreneurs.

(videos on this page shot by David Maddox and Rick Weil,
except Al Petrie clip, shot by Wes Shrum,
and Audrey Browder clip, shot by David Maddox, Rick Weil, & Wes Shrum)

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All original material copyright (c) 2005-2013, by Frederick Weil, all rights reserved.
May be cited for scholarly purposes with attribution, except where noted.