Friday, August 8, 2008
Mos Chukma Institute-Lower Ninth Ward New Orleans
Photographs by Kathy Anderson-Times Picayune
Louisiana Children's Museum exhibit shows how 9th Ward children are coping post-Katrina
Posted by Chris Rose, Columnist, The Times-Picayune June 24, 2008 5:00AM
On the ground floor of the there is a temporary exhibit on display that is unusual -- to say the least -- for the obsessively cheery and forever young philosophy of the museum.
In a colorful happy-house setting more noted for its puppet shows, a make-believe grocery store, fun house mirrors and raucous birthday parties, the Mos Chukma Memory Box exhibit takes a decidedly darker look at the interior lives of local children.
The Memory Boxes are remembrances of Hurricane Katrina made by students at the Martin Luther King Jr. School for Science and Technology in the Lower 9th Ward -- still the only school that has opened in that beleaguered neighborhood, almost three years after the storm.
They are story boxes, each with its own narrative, almost like time capsules. They are 2 feet by 2 feet, and generally decorated with paint, clay figurines and faces, shapes and objects made from wire or cut out from paper plates, and random indigenous accessories such as Spanish moss and Carnival beads.
But it is the narratives written on note paper or painted inside these boxes that hit home hardest.
"I lost my trust," one of the displays says. "I lost my faith. I lost my confidence. I lost my dad."
It's a far cry from the Dr. Seuss exhibit, to be sure.
Those words were written by a third-grader. For folks around here who insist that everyone should just move on from this thing -- and their numbers seem to be growing -- try telling that to this kid".
Please read entire article at:
Comments from the director:
MOS CHUKMA which means "good child" in the Houma language.
As most of you know, I have moved to New Orleans to work with the children traumatized by Hurricane Katrina. Maybe you've been here, orseen the film on my teaching, or visited the art exhibit at theLouisiana Children's Musuem, or spoken to me personally about art,healing, or transformation.
Now is a time of great transition as I continue the program I have developed over the past two years at the MLK, Jr. Charter School inthe Lower Ninth Ward. We are directly in the midst of securing sustainable funding, so this program may continue to thrive for years into the future!
I thank you most of all for the support of your spirit. If in these difficult times, you can also lend material support, it will go to the cause of healing.
CHECKS may be made out to MOS CHUKMA and mailed to:
1000 Bourbon St.
New Orleans, LA 70117
Amelie Prescott-Founder and Director
Mos Chukma Institute