1. The official meeting places where anyone can go for a safe ride if the Mayor of New Orleans must call a mandatory evacuation.
2. The exact same places residents will have a ride back to once the City is safe and re-entry begins.
One of the major improvements in the recovery of New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina is the free, public evacuation option called City Assisted Evacuation (CAE). The CAE is citywide and can accommodate the over 30,000 residents who lack the ability to evacuate in advance of a Category 3 or higher hurricane.
EvacuSpots was proposed to meet the needs and concerns of New Orleans residents. EvacuSpots is a replicable solution to a critical weakness in our city’s safety; the small, inconspicuous size of the signs marking the 17 evacuation pick-up points (below left) were identified as a crucial barrier to citizen awareness of and participation in the CAE.
The City’s 17 evacuation points will now be clearly and consistently marked by identical 14-foot sculptures—EvacuSpots. (below right).
New Orleans is a city of things uncommon. Its unique and comprehensive evacuation plan is a bright spot in emergency preparedness post-Katrina.
Evacuteer.org, a non-profit agency that aids and enhances the CAE, proposed a collaborative effort between the Arts Council of New Orleans and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to commission 17 public art pieces to serve as a visually-striking and memorable rallying point in case of an evacuation of New Orleans.
Sculpture installations will begin in May, prior to the June 1 hurricane season start, and will all be in place prior to the peak of hurricane season 2013.
The 17 pick-up points are located in easily accessible areas for residents to report in the event of an evacuation. There are also four sites specially equipped for senior citizens.
Volunteers will register and assist evacuees with luggage at each of the locations. Learn more at nola.gov/ready or call 311.
REMEMBER: Only one small carry-on bag per person.
ABSOLUTELY NO: Alcohol, guns, knives, other weapons, illegal drugs, or prohibited substances.
IF TRAVELING WITH PETS: Must be in a carrier or restrained on a leash. Must have collar and ID tag. Must have current vaccinations and have needed medicine.
My artwork focuses on the signs and symbols our society uses to communicate. The symbols that are a reflection of our cultural values, our attitudes and our beliefs. Early icons portrayed the intangible, demonstrated power, and inspired awe. My work seeks to return cultural symbols to their rightful place as touchstones of wonder and power, as focal points that inspire civic discourse and explore our collective yearning for creative achievement, individuality, and community.
The evacuteer.org sculptures are seventeen (17) identical figures located throughout the City of New Orleans. Each sculpture designates a gathering place for transportation to safety in the event of a mandatory evacuation. The design was inspired from the gesture people use to signal for a ride. It is also the same gesture people use to when asking for beads during Mardi Gras.
Douglas Kornfeld 2013
Giant silver 'EvacuSpots' stick men point to hurricane evacuation sites in New Orleans
Evacuspot Sculptures: Art with a Purpose
Sculptures Set To Mark Evacuation Pickup Spots
Works of art that will mark hurricane evacuation points arriving in New Orleans
New Orleans Group Promotes Hurricane Awareness
Hurricane evacuation pickup spots to feature tall steel artwork
Sculpture chosen for New Orleans evacuation art
Volunteer group aims to ease hurricane evacuations
Volunteer Group Presses New Orleans to Use Art to Make Residents Safer
EvacuSpots are an innovative intersection of art and emergency preparedness and provide a vital community service. There are 17 community gathering points city-wide, throughout all council districts.
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.
In 2010, the City of New Orleans and the volunteer group Evacuteer.org identified the need to create clearly identifiable markers for City Assisted Evacuation spots to help facilitate mandatory evacuations. The Arts Council was brought on board to mark evacuations points with public art and manage the national call to artists through the Percent For Art program.
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based artist and landscape architect Douglas Kornfeld was selected through a nationally advertised RFQ released in October 2011. A project specific jury made up of a curator, RTA rider, production designer, emergency preparedness professional, and an urban planner brought their wealth of expertise to reviewing 83 applications before choosing five semi-finalists to create proposals for the project. The semi-finalists presented their designs in person at the beginning of February 2012, before the panel selected the winning proposal.
Because emergency preparedness is a national issue, and because local artists and the City received so much support from all over the country post-Katrina, this project was an opportunity to show the nation that New Orleans is rebuilding smart and inviting participation into the community. Matching funds for the project were raised from friends of New Orleans all over the country. The Arts Council of New Orleans supports local artists and encourages their careers to expand nationwide. This project created an opportunity to reciprocate that network of support.
The sculptures are 14-foot stainless steel with a bead-blast finish.
The RTA and the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness established the City Assisted Evacuation EvacuSpots based on ridership statistics.
The Percent For Art Program dedicated $100,000 and Evacuteer.org raised a $100,000 match for a total project budget of $200,000. This covers the design, fabrication, and installation of sixteen sculptures and three signs for seventeen locations now, and two extras to be kept as back-ups.