In July 2010 a quartet of FoundSounders (Elena Moon Park, Ezra Tenenbaum, Jeremy and Chris) traveled by van down to New Orleans with an unforgettable group of young folks partly from the Village of Arts and Humanities in Philadelphia and the NY2NO (New York 2 New Orleans) team of youth activists. They were embarking on a youth-led service-learning program called the Food Justice Summer, in which they worked on community revitalization and urban gardening projects while grappling with issues of food security, social inequality, and the legacy of Hurricane Katrina. The first part of the trip was based at an alternative school in the Lower Ninth Ward, Our School at Blair Grocery, where the Philly group joined forces with other youth from New York. Next we traveled to a social justice and healing center in Hammond, LA, where the group examined the concept of community work from a more rural prospective.

This journey is chronicled in FoundSound fashion using interviews, reflections, conversations, meetings, and sounds recorded during the van ride, our stay in New Orleans, and at Sunshine’s place. We have assembled an hour-long documentary sound-art piece, divided into 8 chapters. The music that you hear (a duet in Lingala, a rhythm track using toaster sounds, and a reggae improv) was all recorded during the week and features original music by youth participants. The NY2NO N’awlins project was funded through Kickstarter, and we would like to thank all of you whose donation made it possible.

*Note: Philadelphia-based organizers and participants of this trip have returned to Philly to start their own organization, the Philadelphia Urban Creators, and are building their very own Educational Urban Farms at two locations in North Philadelphia. Check them out!