Social Solidarity through

Cultural Connection

New Orleans is a city defined by its people.  

 

Artists, performers, and culture bearers draw millions of tourists to our city.  Together with the thousands of gig and hospitality workers who keep the city rolling year-round, we are the heart and lungs of this place.

Many of us make our bread and butter and put it in the cupboard during the spring festival season.  Due to the current Covid-19 crisis, this season has been postponed until fall. Our regular ways of relating to our neighbors and friends are put on hold, and those of us who can are forging new paths to maintain connections.  Many musicians and culture bearers who rely on gathering people and connecting with audiences are on new ground. The path is unclear.

 

Meanwhile, medical workers on the frontlines of the crisis are under ever-increasing pressure.  School closures and gathering limits will continue for another few weeks, but some experts say this protocol could go on a lot longer, putting greater stress on all of us, encouraging further isolation.  In these extended periods of physical distance from our networks, it is imperative that we remain connected to our humanity and cultural practices. In New Orleans, live music is a part of daily life, including for medical staff who are experiencing their own kind of isolation and emotional strain as they serve the community.


Letters from the Porch is a series of videos in which musicians and performers offer their gifts in gratitude to the medical community.  Artists perform on their porch or on the sidewalk in front of their house either solo or with their accompaniment, maintaining proper social distance.  These intimate shows are screened for the medical community inside local hospitals and then released online for the public twice a week.

 

We provide electronic tipping information for artists so that the public may support them directly if they are able.

is Associate Professor of Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at Tulane School of Medicine, Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Tulane School of Public Health, and she holds the Kylene and Brad Beers Professorship in Social Entrepreneurship at the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking. She is co-founder and co-director of the Resident Initiative in Global Health (RIGHT) at Tulane, the founder and director of the Formerly Incarcerated Transitions (FIT) Clinic Program in New Orleans, and a volunteer physician with the asylum network with Physician for Human Rights. As a hospitalist at University Medical Center she is directly caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Dr. Niyogi is one the creators this project.   She is also an executive producer.

is a multi-disciplinary artist who produces and curates this series.   This mostly means they make phone calls, answer emails, don't answer emails, make mistakes, troubleshoot mistakes, rinse, repeat.  As a person whose primary income is made in performance, free is pleased to have a project to do during these times.  It is an honor and joy to curate this series and showcase New Orleans' finest creators.

After several years as a performing musician in New Orleans, Holden offers engineering/mixing services while continuing to record original music.  While in college, he has been an intern at WWOZ, where he has honed his craft under the mentorship of the masters.  Most recently, he has earned a B.S. in Mathematics and a minor in music industry studies from Loyola University New Orleans in Spring 2020.  Holden mixes the audio for this series.

 

He is reachable here at holdenmauk13@gmail.com for inquiries.

is a visual artist, musician, designer and theater technician based in New Orleans.  He is the former technical director for the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans and has worked for the past 25 years, nationally and internationally, on a wide variety of multi-disciplinary projects and events.  He is curating and producing this project.

MD, MSc, joined Tulane Medical School in July 2018 and now serves as Chairman of the Radiation Oncology Department.   She earned her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed her residency in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences at Johns Hopkins.   She also completed a fellowship in patient safety at the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.  In 2002, prior to medical school, she was selected as a Rhodes Scholar and completed a Master of Science (MSc) degree focused on health care policy at Oxford University, and in 2013, she earned the Frank L. Coulson Award for Clinical Excellence from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Harris is an Executive producer for this series.

is a queer sailor, writer, artist, and organizer who prioritizes building networks of solidarity, creativity, and mutual aid across the Gulf South.  She is responsible for all the beautiful drawings on this website, for documenting the process of shooting the videos and for our social media.

is a filmmaker and video director whose work is devoted to narratives and visuals of queer & femme power. Her films and music videos have played in festivals in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Sydney and beyond. A musician since age four, she conceptualizes visuals that are almost always rooted in music. She is the assistant director of video at New Orleans' multimedia station, WWOZ, producing music-related content from concert and festival live capture to short documentary with local artists.  For this series,  Marion is the cinematographer and video editor.

marionhillvisuals.com

is a New Orleans bred-and-based filmmaker whose work in film and music video has been exhibited at festivals and on platforms around the world. His work focuses on the intersections of politics and social psychologies, mostly in communities of color. As cinematographer, his credits include Cover Me (Rotterdam International Film Festival; Prospect 3, New Orleans), Like (Field of Vision, SXSW) and Alone (New York Times OpDocs, Sundance 2017 Jury Award Winner, Best Non-Fiction Short).  As director, Zac’s films, In the GardenThe ClockThelema, and Painted Lady have played in competition in festivals worldwide.  His work has appeared on The Washington Post, MTV, Billboard, Stereogum, and Pitchfork. Painted Lady is available on by Shorts HD and Closed To Interpretation on MTV News. His current documentary feature, Bloodthicker, follows three young rappers as they fight to build upon their fathers’ legacies while navigating the pitfalls of rap culture (www.zacmanuel.com/bloodthicker).

is Haitian-American filmmaker based in New Orleans. As a cinematographer, she has worked with major productions companies such as LiveNation and has shot with artists such as Solange and Lizzo. Her work has screened and won awards at several notable film festivals, including Sundance, New Orleans Film Festival, IndieGrits, BAMcinematek, and Festival d'Automne a Paris. She is currently a Sundance Documentary Lab fellow. 

 

Zuri is also founder of Femme Noir Films, a production company focusing primary on black diasporic stories rooted in ancestral perspectives from the American South and Caribbean.

Special thanks to volunteers Frances Gill, Sasha Jones, Bhumi Patel, & Emily Szklarski

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Support for this series is provided by:

Xylem Watermark, Xylem's Corporate Social Responsibility Program

Tulane Frontline Providers Fund: Green Wave Heroes

The Phyllis M Taylor Center for Social Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking