By Lolis Eric Elie
Here are more of the headline stories that took place around Fall 2007.
November 9-10, 2007
Paul Chan’s production of "Waiting For Godot" with the Classical Theatre of Harlem, starring Wendell Pierce and set outdoors in the Lower 9th Ward, draws local and national acclaim. The production proper is announced by cryptic guerilla advertisements bearing the scene-setting from Beckett's original script: "A country road. A tree. Evening."
November 16, 2007
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommends to Congress the closure of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet or MR-GO. The recommendation comes 30 days after Congress, overriding a presidential veto, ordered the deauthorization of the waterway as part of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007. MR-GO was the subject of the song performed by Antoine Batiste (Wendell Pierce) and Bonerama last season.
November 21, 2007
November 21 – December 21, 2007
The homeless living in Duncan Plaza are relocated to apartments or temporary housing by UNITY of Greater New Orleans and other advocacy groups. This action causes an even larger homeless population camped out under the I-10 on Claiborne Avenue to balloon in size of over the ensuing six months.
December 2007 – January 2008
Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation covers a 14-square-block area of the Lower 9th Ward with the Pink Project, a collection of "flamingo-pink canvas mock houses" that represent the rebuilt neighborhood. The project concludes successfully with an on-site celebration on January 6, 2008, having raised $12 million (much of it from big names in the film and music industries) and brought international attention to the state of redevelopment in the 9th Ward.
December 12, 2007
Three philanthropies announce the donation of $17.5 million to go toward rebuilding New Orleans public schools. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Doris and Donald Fisher Fund and the Broad Foundation announce they'll give several grants over three years to three local education nonprofits: New Schools for New Orleans, New Leaders for New Schools and Teach for America-Greater New Orleans. The money will go to help the organizations train, develop and support principals and teachers; to strengthen charter schools; to develop new charter schools; and to recruit young professionals to become teachers.
December 20, 2007
The New Orleans City Council votes unanimously to tear down 4,500 units of public housing. At the vote, the chambers are filled to capacity, largely with protesters. More protesters remain outside and are barred from entering the packed space; police use tear gas and stun guns on several unruly protesters.