Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bennett joins the post-Katrina assistance brigade...

Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but he leaves behind a significant monetary/cultural investment in New Orleans after a performance at JazzFest this weekend.

This past week, the singer's Exploring the Arts program was among the funders who donated $100,000 worth of new musical instruments to students at KIPP Believe College Prep, a charter school founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The instruments can help extend the city's great musical tradition to newer generations of players. Details on the funding, and its origins, can be found at

So we can add Tony Bennett - singer, painter, philanthropist - to the list of people who have found creative ways to help rebuild in ways NOLA needs it.Action like Bennett's is welcome, especially as parts of the city still haven't been rebuilt... and work on its infrastructure is far from complete.

It still baffles me that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal rejected the federal government's economic stimulus aid this year, aid that this state and city that likely need it the most. It could have gone a long way to continue work on levees and rebuild the Ninth Ward and other areas still blighted from Katrina's flooding effects.

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