Art in a Post-disaster City: The Meanings of Prospect New Orleans

By Leslie Elkins and Andrew Buss.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This research examines the significance of the “Prospect New Orleans” series, a biennial arts festival founded shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. While contextualizing our research more broadly by considering the biennial festival experiences of other cities, we focus on the role that the “Prospect” biennial festival plays in New Orleans’ recovery and regeneration. As attention to the immediate disaster fades, how must subsequent editions of a biennial festival change to maintain interest and relevance in a recovering city? We also discuss opportunities and challenges involved with hosting a biennial arts festival in New Orleans by considering location and physical geography, tourist infrastructure, and the local arts community.

Keywords: Biennial Festivals, Disaster Recovery, Arts as Economic Development, New Orleans, Prospect New Orleans

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.27-37. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 606.288KB).

Dr. Leslie Elkins

Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ, USA

Leslie Elkins, Ph.D., is an associate professor of dance at Rowan University in New Jersey. Her research interests include collaborative and interdisciplinary teaching strategies, and she has co-authored and published several papers on this subject. Her other research considers the incorporation of play in university curricula. She is also currently serving as the editor of conference proceedings for the National Dance Education Organization.

Andrew Buss

Director of Public Programs, Office of Innovation and Technology, City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Andrew Buss is the director of public programs for the Office of Innovation and Technology in Philadelphia. He is also an adjunct professor in the Geography and Urban Studies Department at Temple University. Along with Leslie Elkins, he has co-authored and published several papers about collaborative and interdisciplinary processes, and also recently authored a paper about urban regeneration in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans.