[JPL] Plan swaps sounds of gunfire for jazz
drjazz at drjazz.com
Sat Aug 16 18:10:11 EDT 2008
Plan swaps sounds of gunfire for jazz
Posted by tbaquet
<http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/about.html> August 15, 2008
A group of churches and nonprofits Friday announced a novel plan to
steer young people away from violence and into the teaching hands of
some of the city's best jazz musicians and artists. The price of entry:
On Sept. 6, young people who appear at either of two centers with a gun
can ask New Orleans police to swap it -- no questions asked -- for
musical instruments or cameras, and then enroll in a jazz or arts
education program, said the Rev. Bill Terry, who unveiled the Horns for
Other parts of the program will offer counseling and support to parents
of murdered children. And ad hoc neighborhood leaders will get training
in what to look for and where to send struggling friends who need mental
health care, he said.
No guns are required to obtain those services, he said.
Gun buyback programs are an old anti-crime technique, and one generally
thought to be not very useful.
But in Terry's explanation Friday at Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal,
the presentation of a gun is the least important element of the program
-- almost of symbolic value.
More important is what comes next: steering young people into music
education at the hands of people such as Derrick Tabb, the drummer for
the Rebirth Brass Band, whose Roots of Music Foundation passes on the
city's jazz tradition to young people.
Terry and others, such as the Rev. Willie Gable of Progressive Baptist
Church, emphasized that young people have to be given safe alternatives
to be kept away from violence.
In fact, "If we get 300 kids and only 20 have guns, 300 kids are going
to get horns, " Terry said.
Besides music education, Horns for Guns will provide instruction in
photography and other graphic arts, Terry said. Adults will get access
to mental health care, he said.
Terry's innovative ministry at St. Anna Episcopal Church has attracted
national attention. It is at St. Anna that Terry maintains a gruesome
"murder board" listing the names of every homicide victim in New
Orleans. Since Katrina, the church has also hosted weekly jam sessions
for musicians, providing some financial support for them and creating a
Sponsors said the Horns for Guns program opens Sept. 6 from 2 p.m. to 6
p.m. at the Treme Community Center, 900 N. Villere, and Progressive
Baptist Church, 1214 S. Robertson.
Terry said the program stitches together a number of disparate programs
such as Tabb's Roots for Music and the mental health initiative REACH
NOLA. He said it has money from an array of donors to supply 300 horns,
cameras and other supplies. Wall Street's iconic Trinity Episcopal
Church will collect for it among its congregation in two weeks, he said.
/Bruce Nolan can be reached at bnolan at timespicayune.com or 504.826.3344./
Dr. Jazz Operations
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