Whenever I return to my native Mississippi Gulf Coast I am reminded of the spirit and grace that are so abundant there. This past week when I traveled home to begin shooting our upcoming documentary on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, those qualities were on full display everywhere my team and I went. The folks up and down the Coast could not have been more welcoming to our crews. My thanks go out to them.
In the months ahead you’ll hear much more about the amazing survival stories we uncovered, but last Thursday night we were honored to help support the heroes at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center. Over the last ten years, the organization’s WINGS Performing Arts Program has given many of the children affected by Katrina an artistic outlet to express their emotions and fears. Through dance, music, and theatre, hundreds of local kids have learned the healing power of the arts. For many we saw on stage at the Beau Rivage Theatre, the seeds of a lifelong passion have already been planted thanks to the wonderful teachers and volunteers in this program.
Current Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and former Governor Haley Barbour were on hand to help support the WINGS program, and also remember the countless number of Mississippians affected by Katrina. Carole Lynn Meadows and Bobby Steele did a beautiful job as emcees. And, I have to admit I got choked up when my own sister Dorothy appeared on stage with a group of the kids from the program in a musical tribute to our beloved mother Lucimarian Roberts. Mom was a big supporter of music and arts education, so this tribute was especially poignant. So my thanks go out to the wonderful team at Lynn Meadows, and especially to those young people who are keeping the spirit of the Mississippi Gulf Coast alive with talent.