By Laine Kaplan-Levenson
For the past few months, we’ve been talking a lot about the challenges and frustrations of our foray into transmedia storytelling. Now it’s time to share the happy news of a serendipitous high point for our project! Little did we know here at Land of Opportunity that mentioning Cowbird in a blog post a few weeks ago would lead to a beautiful storytelling collaboration.
After our tweeting the blog post, Cowbird saw their mention and checked us out as well. They appreciated our commitment to telling the story of post-Katrina New Orleans across different platforms, and after talking storytelling shop , we decided to team up to honor the 7th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. This resulted in a Land of Opportunity-presented collaboration on Cowbird’s first ever place-based Saga New Orleans (“saga”, in Cowbird-speak, is a collection documenting major world topics and events, i.e. The Occupy Movement). Launched earlier this week, with a hand-picked collection of stories from our favorite local storytellers, this new Saga serves as an official call for open and ongoing NOLA-driven story contributions.
Thinking about New Orleans through this specific lens, coming face-to-face with my personal (and volatile) relationship to and with the city, I conjured up a story of my own. Our Producer/Director Luisa wrote one too, as did one of our interns, Josh (who, lest we forget, christened the Land of Opp #vlog last week). It was therapeutic, especially heading towards the anxiety-inducing parallels of Hurricane Isaac touching down on August 29th, the very day Katrina hit seven years ago.
Storm fears aside, we hope this is just the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Those of us at Land of Opp will continue to contribute our own stories, and we also ask you to craft and share a story, memory, or moment based on your experience in NOLA using Cowbird’s story platform (it’s easy). We’ll keep tabs on the New Orleans Saga, and pull relevant stories into different curated collections, and also regularly highlight our favorite ones. So stay tuned (and involved!) and help this collaboration yield a mosaic of stories as powerful and diverse as the city that inspired them.