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Living With Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond Katrina - Louisiana State Museum: Theater

Page history last edited by Erin Narloch 11 years, 5 months ago

Project Title: Living With Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond/Theater

Museum/ Institution: Louisiana State Museum

Media Category: Object Theater

Program Created:  Opened: October 26, 2010 

Program URL (if available):   




Project Image(s) and/or Video


Media Source(s)/Credit(s):

YouTube and the Louisiana State Museum


Program Description: (150-250 words)

Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond is an exhibition on view at the Louisiana State Museum. The exhibition presents the stories and science behind Hurricane Katrina (as well as others) and the gulf coast. The exhibition’s flow begins with visitors being confronted by Fats Domino’s grand piano – on it’s side (as it was found) the entrance has a cast of blue and the ceiling is covered with glass tubes (a local artist’s expression of hands/arms rising above the flood waters). Throughout the exhibition, horizontal lines are painted on the gallery walls; this represents both water and the flood lines experienced by much of New Orleans.


The galleries follow a timeline of sorts, you enter learning about the gulf’s natural habitats, then you enter a room with TVs tuned into the news that was broadcasted before Katrina struck, then you pass through artifacts and go into a created attic where you see the hatchet used by a resident to escape through their roof, then you see the science behind the levees failure, and you finish in an area where you listen to the stories of survivors and receive a call to action. The call is to live a more sustainable life in harmony with nature and to have a disaster prepared plan.


Firsthand or secondary review/critique: (150-250 words) 

(Secondary Review - shown at 1:21 in the second video)

The final theater area is presented to look almost like inside a church. In front, the wall looks like stain glass window panels (behind light floods of purple, blues, and greens are projected); these panels are reclaimed architectural details from New Orleans.  Within some of the panels we listen to Katrina survivors. They tell their stories and call on us to change the game, first with ourselves, then with family and friends, our neighborhoods and eventually regions. This is a powerful part of the experience, because it asks the visitor to take action and become emotionally involved in the solution, I don’t think its coincidence that the theater looks like a church or place of worship – I think it’s critical to the exhibition’s message.


It’s important to note that 80% of those visiting this exhibition are from out of town. Therefore  this exhibition has the opportunity and the responsibility to present the story of Katrina as well as a national solution to natural disasters such as this one.


Technologies incorporated:

Audio (surround sound) and Video (projection and screens) 

Internally or externally produced:


Entry Contributor and Date: 

Erin Narloch/ 3/16/11

Related projects:  None 

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