May 26, 2006

Good Morning:

Whenever anyone asks me why I love New Orleans so much, I always have a question for them: "Tell me what other American city can lay claim to its own music, its own food, its own architecture and its own language?"

These are the foundations of our unique way of life and restoring and protecting these cultural treasures is as vital to our recovery as rebuilding our homes, businesses and infrastructure.

That's why First Lady Laura Bush will join NBC news anchor Brian Williams; local restaurateur Ralph Brennan; jazz legend Ellis Marsalis; New Orleans native and Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson and dozens of artists, musicians, educators, journalists, chefs and neighborhood leaders for "Rebirth: People, Places and Culture in New Orleans," May 30 to June 1 at Tulane University.

The conference will also feature renowned New Orleans' restaurant owners Leah Chase, Frank Brigtsen, Wayne Baquet and JoAnn Clevenger; food critic Tom Fitzmorris; jazzman Irvin Mayfield; columnist and Pulitzer-Prize finalist Chris Rose and others.

Participants will explore how hurricane recovery strategies have included steps to protect the city's cultural heritage, what opportunities are being lost and how local and national governments, businesses, non-profits, universities and private citizens can work together to save the culture that defines us.

The conference is co-sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Tulane University, Dillard University, Xavier University, Loyola University and the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans.

Highlights of the program will be broadcast at beginning May 31.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend,


Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638