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Arts Enterprise brings New Orleans to forefront

The image of crashing waves and distraught families filled the minds of students present at last night’s New Orleans benefit sponsored by the new campus organization Arts Enterprise.

As the destruction and devastation brought about by Hurricane Katrina filled a movie screen behind a raised stage, a jazz band played harmonious tunes for the nearly 20 students in attendance at the event.

The event, ‘Remembering What Should Have Never Been Forgotten,’ was created in an effort to benefit the school systems of New Orleans.

‘Fundraising our organization’s trip to New Orleans in two weeks is one of the goals of the event,’ AE member Sarah Griffith said, ‘but we also want to increase awareness about the recovery of the city because people have become so apathetic.’

The six members from BGSU that make up the 15 students involved in Arts Enterprise for New Orleans will be traveling to Louisiana on May 1 in order to research the educational programs implemented in New Orleans schools, AE member Chelsea Schumann said. Seven members from the University of Michigan will also be going on the trip.

‘We will be working with a program called New Orleans Outreach and completing research in order to reach the end product,’ Schumann said. ‘We will be combining people from educational and business aspects to help form a plan to fix the schools and the economy to further the restoration programs in New Orleans.’

In an effort to remind the audience of the damage still affecting New Orleans, specific performances were chosen in order to reflect the tone of the city and the people during the hurricane.

‘We coordinated the music so that it would reflect the jazz and blues that predominate the area,’ Schumann said.

Jennifer Cole and Kenny Rogers, who were the winners of the Pi Kappa Delta National Competition for their act, also performed dramatic performances.

‘We love what we do and we’ll take any opportunity to perform,’ Cole said. ‘We wanted to come out and support this because we both feel so strongly about this.’

Like a majority of the students in attendance, Cole felt that even though Hurricane Katrina occurred two years ago, it still needs to receive coverage in order to bring the continued destruction to the forefront.

‘There are still so many issues going on and the media just kind of puts it aside,’ Cole said. ‘I want to see what I can do to help.’

Though the members of Arts Enterprise hoped their event led the audience to reflect on the catastrophe of Katrina, they acknowledged it will take more than one event to get the reflection they desire.

‘Katrina was a catastrophic event that uncovered injustice not only limited to New Orleans, but throughout all of society,’ Griffith said. ‘This is not something that just goes away. We need constant reminders to cure the problem of injustice in society.’

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