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- Christina

From March 23-30 I traveled with a group called WIT Travel to New Orleans. Two other high schoolers and I planned the trip with the goal of promoting the idea of teenagers everywhere making volunteering part of their travels. Below is my blog reviewing one of the museums we visited. You can read more about what we are currently up to at facebook.com/WIT.Travel, and reviews of Nola attractions that I visited will be continuously posted.

An INCREDIBLE museum in the heart of Jackson Square

Louisiana State Museum Review-

The originality and quality of this museum made it a group favorite. Many people had recommended its Katrina exhibit to us, and we quickly discovered that they had very good reasons.

It’s a relatively small museum, and even though we were in one of the most touristy areas in New Orleans on a busy Saturday, it wasn’t crowded. We started with the Katrina/Hurricanes (?) exhibit. It had lots of artifacts, videos, and powerful first-person accounts of the storm. Often, when museums try to make you part of the experience through interactive or immersive displays, it feels cheesy. This was absolutely not the case with the LA State Museum. Over the past few years, we’ve learned a lot about Katrina, but this exhibit brought it to life and helped us understand what happened even better. After walking you through the events and accounts of the storm, there are rooms dedicated to explaining flood control systems, and how the city is rebuilding. These rooms help connect the past to the present, and they explain the current state of New Orleans.

Artifacts like this garage door combined with personal accounts of the storm to paint a picture of life during and after Hurricane Katrina

We spent less time upstairs with the only other exhibit but we enjoyed that one as well. It was on Mardi Gras, which many tourists view as simply one crazy party. By learning about the legacies of its krewes, parades, and costumes, the exhibit shows how culturally significant Mardi Gras is as well. We recommend it to fans of history, art, or parties.

Old Mardi Gras costume drawings

While it may seem strange to place information about the debauchery of Mardi Gras in the same building as information about the horror of Hurricane Katrina, we think it actually makes a lot of sense. By learning about those events, you learn about two of the most central parts of New Orleans. From leftover beads hanging on trees to orange “X”s spray painted on houses, their traces are found all over the city. We only wish we could have visited this museum earlier in the week, because it would have served as a great point of reference for the rest of our travels.

Price: $5 for students

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