I am pleased to pass along this information about Louisiana State Museum’s Hurricane Katrina 5th anniversary project on FaceBook. Thanks to Terri Kaupp for sending us the press release – although I am an active FaceBooker, I hadn’t seen anything about the project. Please check out the page and consider sharing your experience.
Recalling Katrina on Facebook
“S.O.S.” becomes Share Our Stories as Louisiana State Museum invites
social media fans to become part of a new exhibit
NEW ORLEANS (Aug. 2, 2010) – On August 29, 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated Southeast Louisiana and Mississippi, Twitter didn’t exist and Facebook was only for high school and college students. Today, these social media outlets have become a vital part of our daily life and a way to reconnect with old friends, colleagues, and family.
In advance of Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond, opening October 26 at New Orleans’ Presbytere, the Louisiana State Museum has launched a Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/LaStateMuseum where users are urged to post their stories, photos and videos of their experiences during and after the storm.
“Facebook is an ideal medium for sharing memories,” says Louisiana State Museum Manager of Social Media and Web Communications Victoria Salisbury. “We want to reach out to everyone who lived through Hurricane Katrina. Our fan page is a way for residents – and people across the country – to become part of this exhibition.”
In the years after the storm, social media has helped thousands of Gulf Coast residents to reunite with scattered friends, neighbors and families. Chalmette High School alumni, for example, used Facebook to plan a class reunion. “Student records from the school were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina,” says Chalmette’s Class of ’89 reunion organizer Wendy Lauga Thibodaux. “Within 24 hours of posting the reunion event on Facebook, I received 125 responses from alumni from Florida to Washington State. We would not have had a successful reunion without Facebook.”
In addition, the story-telling aspect of Facebook is perfect for New Orleans, a city full of tales about its past.
“The Museum wants to share your experiences of the storm. How has life changed for you in the past five years?” says Salisbury. “Social media is a great equalizer. Everyone has a voice. We’d like to hear them all.”
Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond is a $7.5 million exhibit opening on the ground floor of the historic Presbytere in the French Quarter’s Jackson Square. The 6,700-square-foot installation tells the stories of real people caught in the hurricane’s wrath. It tells of their rescue, recovery, rebuilding and renewal in a way certain to move both those who survived the storms of 2005 and those who watched the events unfold on TV.
Combining eyewitness accounts, historical context, immersive environments and in-depth scientific exploration, Katrina and Beyond enables visitors to understand the 2005 storms’ impact on Louisiana, the Gulf Coast and the nation. It is a story of how a culture – the rich, variegated world of New Orleans and coastal Louisiana – has learned to live with the fragility of its environment and how the storms of 2005 gave rise to a new vision for the region.
Founded in 1906 with a mission to collect, preserve, interpret and present the state’s rich history and diverse cultures, the Louisiana State Museum’s collection now totals more than 450,000 artifacts and works of art. These provide an authentic experience of Louisiana to visitors from around the world while enhancing the quality of life for residents. The Museum is part of the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.
For more information, please call 800.568.6968 or visit http://www.KatrinaAndBeyond.com, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LaStateMuseum and Twitter: http://twitter.com/LaStateMuseum.