Saturday, August 14, 2010


SWIMMING UPSTREAM! From the Big Easy to the Big Apple


V-Day, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, Women Donors Network, and Culture Project want you to help us “take it to the streets”--the message, that is. Use Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, E-Blasts, Word of Mouth, Websites, Newsletters, whatever method you choose, and let’s give this original New Orleans production the boost it needs to pack the house!

From the Big Easy to The Big Apple
Join us for a viewing of the promo.
Friday, August 20, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
JuJu Bag Cafe
5363 Franklin Avenue
New Orleans

Friday, September 10, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
Mahalia Jackson Theater - New Orleans

Monday, September 13, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
The Apollo Theater - New York City

It's been five years since Hurricane Katrina and the levee breaches changed many of our lives. Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues) and Carol Bebelle (co-founder and executive director of Ashé Cultural Arts Center) thought it was important enough to document the feelings, thoughts, successes, goodwill, humor, and togetherness that occurred during those trying times, and during this period of renewal and rebuilding. The result of that collaboration with sixteen female writers can be witnessed at The Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans, La. at 8 p.m., September 10, 2010; and The Apollo Theater in New York City, September 13, 2010.

The ladies of Swimming Upstream hit the stage with powerful monologues, songs, and solid performances.

The writers have crafted a powerful, theatrical production that tells the raw and soulful stories of women who lived through Hurricanes Katrina and Rita with grace, rage, humor, strength and great resiliency. Swimming Upstream is no mere docudrama. It is a testimony, a prayer, a blues ballad, a hallelujah, an affirmation, a nightmare, a battle cry, a eulogy, an incantation, an epic poem.

Premiering at the Louisiana Superdome in April 2008 during V-Day's “V to the Tenth” celebration, and with subsequent sold-out runs in Atlanta and New Orleans in November 2008, Swimming Upstream has played before rapt audiences with casts featuring writers of the play, native New Orleans performers, Liz Mikel from Dallas; and celebrity guest stars, including Jasmine Guy, Shirley Knight, Phylicia Rashad, Anna Deavere Smith, and Kerry Washington.

V-Day, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, Women Donors Network and Culture Project embarked on a successful fundraising campaign to finance getting the production to New York, along with four of the New Orleans writers. Artists and performers in their own right, these women bear witness to what has befallen their community through monologue, poetry, and song. Swimming Upstream amplifies these seldom-heard voices from the ground, sharing their frustration and their hope, and celebrating their resilience.

As Carol Bebelle, co-creator and Artistic Director of Ashé, explained: “The formula was to create something that could run around the world—it's an opportunity to help our fellow citizens understand this present danger for all of us and to communicate that the sturdiness of our resolve must always be at the ready.”

The team of actresses and singers returns to New Orleans. Local performers include, Anne-Liese Juge Fox, Karen-kaia Livers, Troi Bechet, Asali Njeri DeVan and singers, Michaela Harrison and Leslie Blackshear Smith.

The writers who captured these stories for stage-life are Carol Bebelle, Troi Bechet, Reverend Lois Dejean, Asali Njeri Devan, Anne-Liese Juge Fox, Adella Gautier, Briceshanay Gresham, Herreast Harrison, Karen-kaia Livers, Tommye Myrick, Cherise Harrison Nelson, Kathy Randels, Dollie Rivas, Dina Roudeze, Karel Sloane-Boekbinder and Carol Sutton.

Tickets start at $25, and are available at or Groups of ten or more will receive a 20 percent discount on tickets purchased during the month of August. Call Viola at (504) 813-9008 for details.

For more information or to host a promo viewing party at Ashé Cultural Arts Center for your group, call (504) 569-9070.



This mobile photography exhibit is displayed inside and outside of a huge truck traveling through Houston and New Orleans. It is scheduled to be in the Crescent City from August 26 through September 3, 2010, kicking off at Ashé Cultural Arts Center. The exhibit is coordinated by Stanley Greene & Kadir van Lohuizen I NOOR

Number of Hurricane Katrina deaths caused by the storm and in the subsequent floods: 1,836
Internally displaced persons: An estimated 1,000,000
Medicaid recipients who have not returned to New Orleans since Katrina: 63,799
Average distance traveled by evacuees from Chalmette, a largely white community in St. Bernard Parish: 193 miles
Average distance traveled by evacuees from the Lower Ninth Ward, a largely African-American community in New Orleans: 349 miles

Those Who Fell Through the Cracks is a traveling mobile exhibition of large-scale mural photographs produced by Stanley Greene and Kadir van Lohuizen over five years. It is a powerful visual document of Hurricane Katrina’s effects on Gulf Coast residents and the struggles they face to this day in re-establishing their lives. The photographs cover the interior and exterior of a highly innovative 24’ itinerant truck as it debuts in Houston and continues to New Orleans during Katrina's fifth anniversary. Those Who Fell Through the Cracks is an interactive documentation of the United States in the beginning of the 21st century, and a testament to the power of art’s ability to bring new awareness and sensitivity to communities, and foment systemic change.

“The photographs are a powerful visual document of Hurricane Katrina’s effects on Gulf Coast residents and the struggles they face to this day in re-establishing their lives,” said van Lohuizen, who, along with Stanley Greene, conceived the project to foster a conversation about human rights and those left behind.

“The photographs are a testament to the power of art’s ability to bring new awareness and sensitivity to communities and spur systemic change,” said van Lohuizen.

The truck’s journey will begin on August 19, with stops at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and galleries and community centers throughout Texas and New Orleans. The truck will make its way to the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans for the Katrina anniversary. Along the way, the photographers will moderate workshops with displaced people, community organizers, and artists.


Exhibition launches at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans. Attendees are invited to view the show, participate in conversation, and share their own stories on audio and film.

Ashé Cultural Arts Center - 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, New Orleans
Mobile Exhibition Opens – 1:00 p.m.
Opening Reception - 5 - 8 p.m.

Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, New Orleans
Symposium -- 6–8 p.m.
Screening of documentary -- Trouble the Water with Kimberly Rivers Roberts, 8 - 9:30 p.m.

Lake Forest Mall, New Orleans East
Mobile Exhibition Honoring the People of New Orleans East, 2 - 8 p.m.

1717 Deslonde Street, New Orleans & Site Where Barge Came Ashore
Mobile Exhibition & Screening of Images
Lower Ninth Ward - In partnership with “Make it Right”

Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, New Orleans
Workshop Seminar with Stanley Greene, Kadir van Lohuizen & Alan Chin, 5 - 8 p.m.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 30-31, 2010
Old U.S. Mint in the French Quarter
400 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, LA
Mobile Exhibition

PARTNERS OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE - The Open Society Institute made possible the production of these images through a Distribution Grant.

NOVEMBER ELEVEN - Charity organization is acting fiscal sponsor for institutional donations and individual giving support. November Eleven supports independent media, research, and humanitarian aid efforts.

Make it Right
Ashé Cultural Arts Center
The Alliance Institute
A Community Voice

Texas Organizing Project
The Museum of Fine Arts
University of Houston
Houston Center for Photography
Lawndale Art Center

PHOTOGRAPHER STANLEY GREENE was born in New York in 1949. As a teenager, Greene was a member of the Black Panthers and an anti-Vietnam War activist. A founding member of SF Camerawork, an exhibition space for avant-garde photography, Greene has photographed wars and poverty in Africa, the former Soviet Union, Central America, Asia, and the Middle East. He has won seven World Press Photo awards for his work around the world. His work has been published in Libération, New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Paris-Match, Time, Stern and Fortune, among others. Greene published the photo book Open Wound: Chechnya 1994-2003 (Trolley), and won the Alicia Patterson and the prestigious W. Eugene Smith Award in 2004. He was awarded a Katrina Media Fellowship from the Open Society Institute in 2006. He is a founding member of the photo agency NOOR.

PHOTOGRAPHER KADIR VAN LOHUIZEN is a founding member of NOOR. He has covered stories about Africa, Asia, the former Soviet Union, and the Middle East, and has worked regularly for Medecins sans Frontieres since 1990. He has been awarded numerous grants and honors throughout his career, including a Katrina Media Fellowship from the Open Society Institute, two World Press Photo awards and ‘de Zilveren Camera’ 1997, the highest Dutch award in photojournalism, for his story in Zaire on Rwandan refugees. He also won a Photo District News annual award in the United States for his work in Chad. In 2000, (Sierra Leone) and 2005 (diamonds) he won the ‘Dick Scherpenzeel’ prize in Holland for best reporting in the developing world. Van Lohuizen’s photographs have been published in the New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Time Magazine, Le Monde, Liberation, The Guardian, The Observer, Independent Sunday Review, Paris Match, Vrij Nederland, de Volkskrant, NRC Handelsblad, and GEO. Mets and Schilt Publishers published his most recent book, Diamond Matters, in 2005. Before van Lohuizen became a photographer he was a sailor and started a shelter for homeless and drug addicts in Holland. He was also an activist in the Dutch squatter movement.


Voices Not Forgotten: Firsts

The New Orleans Council on Aging and Ashé Cultural Arts Center present VOICES NOT FORGOTTEN: FIRSTS featuring The Movers and Groovers of the Central City EOC and the work of Kesha McKey, John Grimsley, Giselle Nakhid-Deal, Calviana Coleman and Karel Sloane-Boekbinder. The shows will take place at Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1724 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., Wednesday, August 25 and Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. For more information, call (504) 569-9070.

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