Collecting and Curating Visions for the Future of New Orleans

On the eve of its Tricentennial commemoration, New Orleans faces incredible opportunities and even more significant challenges. Many will celebrate the unique history of New Orleans by looking back. We believe New Orleans’ legacy and cultural heritage is best honored by pro-actively asking visionaries across all media: How would you envision New Orleans over the next 300 years, through the lenses of our geography and cultural identity, smart growth, and equity?

Unless gentrified neighborhoods make themselves into affordable and agreeable places to raise and educate the next generation, they will morph into dour historical theme parks with price tags only aging one-percenters can afford…. Need evidence of those impacts? Take a walk on a sunny Saturday through the lower French Quarter, the residential section of New Orleans’ original gentrified neighborhood. You will see spectacular architecture, dazzling cast-iron filigree, flowering gardens—and hardly a resident in sight, much less the next generation playing in the streets. Many of the antebellum townhouses have been subdivided into pied-à-terre condominiums vacant most of the year; others are home to peripatetic professionals or aging couples living in guarded privacy behind bolted-shut French doors. The historic streetscapes bear a museum-like stillness that would be eerie if they weren’t so beautiful.
— Richard Campanella, Gentrification and its malcontents
 

The futureNOLA project is open to artists, designers and writers from all backgrounds and locations.