Southern Hospitality At The Morton Arboretum
Arboretum To Provide Concert Free Of Charge For Katrina Evacuees
LISLE, IL (August 9, 2006) – The Morton Arboretum – always warm and welcoming to visitors – will roll out the red carpet for some special guests attending the August 19 concert of Louisiana’s pride and joy, Buckwheat Zydeco. The Arboretum will host approximately 40 former Louisiana residents – all evacuees from hurricane Katrina – who are now living in the Chicago area.
With the one-year anniversary of Katrina approaching at the end of August, many evacuees are reflecting on how they have built new lives here, but still yearn for the heritage of the homeland they left behind. The storm may have destroyed their homes, but certainly not Louisiana’s rich traditions, arts and culture. The Arboretum wanted to help those displaced by the hurricane feel right at home with an evening that’s positively zydeco!
“I am especially pleased that we can provide a joyful, spirited evening for the Katrina evacuees who have been through so much,” said Arboretum Special Events Manager Marilyn Baysek, a Texas native. “I have some friends from the New Orleans area who have not been able to return home and miss Louisiana,” she said.
Melissa Cook with NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) in Chicago Network facilitated the communication with evacuees, reaching out to IRIM: Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Ministries; ACORN: Association of Community Organizations For Reform Now; Heartland Alliance; Metropolitan Family Services; and Catholic Charities – all social service agencies that served Katrina refugees, she said. Cook, who grew up in Louisiana and moved the Chicago area in 1981, envisions the concert as an excellent chance for the Katrina evacuees to network and in some cases, hold a reunion. The Arboretum will set aside an area of the concert lawn specifically for Katrina evacuees.
Mostly, however, the goal is to bring a little touch of Bourbon Street to Ginkgo Way, where the Arboretum’s grand archway entrance greets all. Once inside, the inspiring, beautiful landscape of mature trees will provide a stunning backdrop for the dynamic show.
“I can't think of a better way to raise people's spirits than to listen to some Buckwheat Zydeco,” Cook said. “Personally, when I am feeling down in the dumps about the plight of New Orleans, I put a Buckwheat Zydeco CD in my player, and it always makes me feel better,” she said.
Tickets are available at www.mortonarb.org, www.ticketweb.com, or the Arboretum Visitor Center. Also, you may call the Arboretum at 630-725-2066. Prices for members and non-members: $14 in advance or $17 day of show. Lawn opens at 4:30 p.m.; opening act Ross Hubbell Trio starts at 6:00 p.m. The main event begins 7:30 p.m.
The Morton Arboretum’s summer concert series is sponsored by Bonterra Vineyards, Edy’s Ice Cream, the Hilton of Lisle/Naperville, Nine FM and Samuel Adams Beer Company.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of more than 3,700 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CDT) and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST). The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) and 9:30 to 4 p.m. (CST). Visit www.mortonarb.org or call 630/968-0074 to learn more.
Media Contact: Gina Tedesco, 630-725-2103,