New Orleans, Louisiana

Blights Out

New Orleans, Louisiana

Blights Out is a collective of citizens, artists, architects, and activists working to design a new model for development that challenges blight, displacement, and gentrification. Blights Out works directly with communities and local stakeholders on projects that revitalize spaces in blighted communities using  “performing architecture,” a term that refers to a creativity-based, crowd-sourced, participatory, citizen-designed approach to housing development. The goal of this mode of working is to challenge in new ways the blight, displacement, and gentrification that is still affecting many New Orleans communities post-Katrina. This strategy allows Blights Out to be part of multiple sectors, advocating for policy changes at the city and state level while also taking local action in collaboration with affected communities. This way of working draws on and renews the city’s Social Aid and Pleasure Club tradition (New Orleans’ original mutual aid society and traditional mode of cultural activism) to design the destinies of their own neighborhoods. 

To Be Continue… Brass Band performs in Home Court Crawl, December 2014. Photo: Scott McCrossen/FIVE65 Design