Arts Community Rallies Around Project HEAL, Generates International Support

In just a few short weeks, Project HEAL has garnered support from around the globe, raising thousands of dollars to employ displaced artists and musicians from New Orleans and the surrounding area. By working with the existing Acadiana Arts Council programs and creating innovative new alliances, Project HEAL has been able to quickly hire artists for events in shelters, festivals, schools and multiple music venues. Project HEAL has been featured on the BBC and been covered by such prestigious organizations as the LA Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Orlando Sentinel and National Public Radio (NPR). The Project continues to expand its impact by increasing employment opportunities across the Acadiana Region.

As a result of the damage caused by Hurricane Rita in South Louisiana, Project HEAL has expanded its scope to include those artists that have suffered great losses due to this recent natural disaster. "While we created Project HEAL to assist artists and musicians impacted by Hurricane Katrina, the needs of our local artists are now equally affected," says Buddy Palmer, Executive Director of the Acadiana Arts Council. "To think that so many artists living only minutes away from downtown Lafayette have lost everything is truly heartbreaking."

Project HEAL was created to assist artists and musicians impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Project HEAL (Helping Employ Artists Locally) offers displaced artists employment opportunities in local communities. Artists working in a wide range of disciplines including dance, design arts, folklife, literature, media, music, theatre and visual arts are now being recruited for programs designed in partnership with local arts organizations and venues.

Fans of Cajun music ambassadors BeauSoleil provided a cornerstone gift to launch Project HEAL, while support continues to pour in from all corners of the country and the world. Project HEAL Director Matthew Goldman, a New Orleans resident currently displaced by the hurricane said, "It has been extremely gratifying to work with individuals and organizations from all over the world and to be able to make such an immediate impact in artists' lives here at home." Goldman went on to say that, "The local Acadiana Region has been a huge asset to the success of the Project, but everyone realizes this is a long term effort and not a quick fix to the problem."

Project HEAL is working closely with other non-profit organizations, such as the New Orleans Musicians Clinic, Tipitinas Foundation, and the Jazz Foundation of America to ensure that the arts community of New Orleans remains healthy and intact, allowing for the easiest possible return to New Orleans. Other Project HEAL partners include Louisiana Crossroads, Louisiana Folk Roots, Festival International de Louisiane, Performing Arts Society of Acadiana, Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission and Lafayette Economic Development Authority.

To make a tax-deductible donation to Project HEAL, register as an artist, employ an artist or inquire about volunteer opportunities, please contact:

Acadiana Arts Council
P.O. Box 53762
Lafayette, LA 70505
(337) 233-7060, (337) 233-7062 fax
A 501(c)3 Non-profit organization
EIN: 51-0138288
Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted

Thank you for your support of this vital community project.