July 31 update
Date: Thu, Aug. 02, 2007
The final installment of our summer Youth Music Clinics takes place this evening, from 6 to 8pm, at Sound Cafe (2700 Chartres St. in the Marigny). Thanks to Nakita Shavers for her work bringing together this series, and to Jocolle Rogers, who ably works the counter during the clinics and takes care of the musicians. This series has been a wonderful success, drawing kids from all over the city to take advantage of the opportunity to study and perform with local brass band musicians, the Free Agents Brass Band. Most of the families who come once come again, and several members of the community have pitched in on a regular basis to make this series especially productive, including our friends Amy Lee Wilson and virtuoso trumpeter Shamarr Allen. While Mayor Nagin has not yet seen fit to grace us with his presence at one of our clinics, despite our express invitation that he speak to the young people assembled there, he will have another opportunity this fall: Our fall series of Youth Music Clinics will begin in late September and run through mid-November.
Also this week, Baty will be sharing news of civic engagement in New Orleans and the role of citizens in the recovery during a SilenceIsViolence reception in Manhattan. The reception will be held in a lovely 29th-floor apartment on the Upper West Side; jambalaya and pralines will be served; and donations will be accepted but not required. So if you know any New Yorkers who might like to attend, please email us at SpeakUp@silenceisviolence.org or call Baty (504-948-0917) with their names so they can be added to the list.
Back in NOLA, we are of course concerned about the violent crime we continue to see in the news each day; yet we are at least as worried about crimes that seem to be going unreported or underreported. In one example, dancer Joseph Schnell was shot in the face while riding his bike on July 1. He survived, but is still hospitalized and has sustained permanent neurological damage. This shooting was not reported in the local press; in fact, the only way to learn about it is through blogs and websites of his friends. It is alarming, to say the least, that such a serious event would not have the chance to become part of the public awareness about crime in our city. The NOPD, as well as the media, must do a better job of keeping us informed.
Your letters to the editor, your calls to public officials—this engagement is empowering the citizen-driven recovery of New Orleans. Clearly our leaders are not equipped to do it on their own; we must remain as active as we can. Keep your voices strong and your presence felt, and please continue to share with us your experiences and observations, which help to focus and strengthen our own work.Ken and Baty