NEW ORLEANS, LA—On Monday, June 3, the City of New Orleans, Evacuteer.org, and the Arts Council of New Orleans will unveil the installation of Evacuspots public art. The new 14-foot stainless steel sculptures will clearly identify City-Assisted Evacuation pick-up points where citizens without their own transportation would report to in the event the City calls for a mandatory evacuation. The iconic artwork is being installed at 17 neighborhood pick-up points across the city as part of the City-Assisted Evacuation plan.
“New Orleanians will now have a clearly identifiable landmark in their neighborhood that serves as public safety and public art,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Citizens who count on the City for transportation in the event of a mandatory evacuation will know exactly where to go. I want to thank Evacuteer.org and the Arts Council of New Orleans for bringing this unique project together.”
Installations began in May and are expected to be in place by the end of July. The public safety and public art project is the culmination of two years of work and fundraising by both Evacuteer.org and the Arts Council.
“Emergency preparedness and public art are things people typically don’t associate. But we do things differently in New Orleans,” said Robert X. Fogarty, Board President and Co-Founder of Evacuteer.org.
Until now, a simple sign marked these 17 pick-up locations, which was largely indistinguishable from the many other official signs on the streets of New Orleans. The new markers will make City-Assisted Evacuation pick-up points not only identifiable, but also memorable.
City-Assisted Evacuation is one part of the City’s NOLA Ready campaign that focuses on public safety during emergencies and encourages citizens to prepare for themselves and their families and to be “NOLA Ready.” Through the NOLA Ready campaign, the City encourages all citizens to get informed, get prepared and get ready.
On behalf of the City of New Orleans, the Arts Council’s Percent For Art Program held a public art competition with entries from artists nationwide in October 2011. The search led to five semi-finalists chosen by a jury and project advisory panel. After artist presentations, in February 2012 the panel selected the proposal from Douglas Kornfeld, a sculptor from Cambridge, MA.
"This is a great example of how art can work to advance civic priorities," said Kim Cook, President/CEO of the Arts Council.
The total cost of the project is $200,000. The funding for the project comes from the City’s Percent for Art program administered by the Arts Council, 173 individuals who donated to Evacuteer.org’s Magic Bucket fundraiser and a grant from the Centers for Disease Control Foundation. All donors to the Evacuspots campaign will be listed on the sculpture at the Armstrong Park location.
The Percent For Art Program has a 25 year history of partnership between the Arts Council of New Orleans and City of New Orleans to integrate artwork into community. Funding for the program is generated by 1% of eligible municipal capital bonds. The Percent For Art program administers projects, commissions site-specific artwork, acquisition of existing work, community outreach and education initiatives, and on-going maintenance of the Percent Collection.
“The Regional Transit Authority is committed to working with Evacuteer and all of its partner agencies to provide safe transport to the designated evacuation points," said Justin Augustine, Vice President of Veolia. "Our operational personnel stand ready to answer the call to action when, and if, the time arises. These new branded Evacuspots salute the cultural landscape of our unique city while making evacuation of its citizens even more efficient."
District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer said, “I appreciate that Evacuteer.org, the City of New Orleans and the Arts Council are using public art for the purpose of promoting resident safety and disaster preparedness. The placement of these statues throughout the city demonstrates the continued partnership between the City and Evacuteer.org as we enter hurricane season and the importance of that partnership. I have been a strong advocate for this and many Evacuteer.org initiatives over the years because I believe that it’s essential that all of our residents have access to the information needed about where, when and how to prepare and safely evacuate during emergencies.”
For more information about CAE and location maps, go to http://ready.nola.gov. To learn more about Evacuteer.org, and visit http://www.evacuteer.org for a digital press kit on the evolution of the Evacuspots campaign, visit http://evacuteer.org/evacuspots.
WHO: Mayor Mitch Landrieu
Arts Council of New Orleans
WHAT: Installation of Evacuspots
WHEN: MONDAY, June 3, 2013
WHERE: Louis Armstrong Park
N. Rampart St. & St. Ann St.
New Orleans, LA 70116
About NOLA Ready
NOLA Ready is a campaign of the City of New Orleans that encourages all citizens to get informed, get prepared, get ready. Because emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere, citizens are encouraged to prepare. NOLA Ready Emergency Alerts help them stay informed via home, cell or business phone, email or text messages.
Evacuteer.org is a non-profit organization that currently retains the sole responsibility for recruiting, training, and managing evacuation volunteers (evacuteers) who assist with mandatory New Orleans’ evacuations, as detailed in a City Assisted Evacuation (CAE). Evacuteer.org has become a locally and nationally recognized leader in emergency preparedness, and a critical component in the City of New Orleans’ present and future safety and viability.
About the Arts Council of New Orleans
The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. Now in its 38th year, the Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national government agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services. The Arts Council serves as one of nine regional distributing agencies for Louisiana Division of the Arts funds and administers Community Arts Grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans.