Hurricanes Katrina and Rita forced many musicians to flee New Orleans. Jazz, blues, and other genres that are the city’s musical score, cannot return until the musicians return, and many have lost their homes. Habitat for Humanity International and New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, working with Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis, honorary chairs of Operation Home Delivery, seek to change this. Plans were announced Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005 for a “Musicians’ Village.”
The Musicians’ Village, conceived by Connick and Marsalis, will consist of 70 single-family, Habitat-constructed homes for displaced New Orleans musicians and other qualifying Habitat partner families. Its centerpiece will be the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, dedicated to the education and development of homeowners and others who will live nearby. On January 9, 2006 NOAHH acquired eight acres of land in the Upper 9th Ward where the core area of the Musicians’ Village will be located. In addition to the homes in this tract, plans call for building at least 150 other homes in the surrounding Upper 9th Ward neighborhood. Construction began in March 2006 and the first ten homeowners moved into their new homes in August 2006.
To read more and DONATE to the cause, visit www.habitat-nola.org