Monday, January 08, 2007

New Orleans and related matters

At the memorial website for Helen Hill there's now a link to the Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres website, where you can make donations in Helen's memory. (Just fill in her name, and the family will be notified--I think the address in this case is not needed.)

Sara Gran has very kindly provided a short list of arts-related New Orleans organizations that I feel sure Helen would also have liked the thought of people giving to:

The Neighborhood Story Project (which is pretty much what it sounds, it's a great thing--I know a bit about them already because they also work with Soft Skull)

The Tipitina's Foundation (rebuilding the music culture of New Orleans post-Katrina, including the purchase of new instruments for musicians who lost their possessions)

The Backstreet Cultural Museum (preserving New Orleans culture and especially African-American culture in New Orleans – Mardi Gras Indians, Jazz Funerals and Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs - and oh, how strongly that makes me think of Helen - I so vividly remember a particular prize possession of hers on that last visit I paid in 2003, it was one of the much-sought-after Zulu coconuts which had come almost miraculously to Helen during Mardi Gras, placed directly into her hands by someone on the parade float who must have been taken with her bright eager face)

The Ashe Cultural Arts Center (committed to arts and community development in Central City New Orleans)

Last but not least, Ken Foster and others are spearheading a massive anti-violence rally that will take place this Thursday in New Orleans. Check back at this site for details the night before, but here are the essentials:

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

11:00am - Meet at the World Trade Center
11:30am - March begins
12:00 Noon - Rally at City Hall

A separate group will meet up at 10:30 near Paul and Helen's old house on Cleveland Avenue and then walk to join the others at City Hall.

Anyone is welcome to leave further suggestions in the comments about practical ways to remember Helen and help the city she loved.


  1. I reviewed all the Neighborhood Story Project books and thought they were fascinating reading - great sociology resources in particular but just riveting. I highly recommend them.

    I try to review a NOLA-oriented book (either about the city or by a NOLA author) every month at the Voices site. I discovered Sara Gran through you and then reviewed Come Closer. I don't know how to do the link thing with blogger but you can get to the Voices site from Chin Music site which is a shorter address for cutting and pasting.


  2. Okay I'm brain dead - I meant use the link to read my reviews of the NSP books so folks who want to donate to them in Helen's name could get an idea of the kind of wonderful work they produce.


  3. I just wanted to say how heartening it is to see such significant positive shifts taking place as a result of this terrible tragedy. I lost a dear friend a few years ago & her death resulted in a dramatic change for the security and safety of women in her community in Malaysia. As painful and numbing as her death was, something of real substance came out of it as people in the community became outraged at the senselessness of the violence.

    I hope these beginnings (the rally, the charities we'll give to) will spark the change that New Orleans & its residents desperately need. I hope these things would make Helen proud.