The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art will launch "Katrina +10," the largest Hurricane Katrina exhibit in the Southeast, on Friday morning at 10.
"Katrina +10" will be a six-month retrospective about Hurricane Katrina and will feature the award-winning efforts of the Sun Herald, WLOX, Mississippi Department of Transportation, Hands On Mississippi and Mississippi Power, the company that brought in 12,000 workers from across the country to restore electricity to its south Mississippi customers within 12 days after the storm.
The multi-media exhibit, sponsored by Hancock Bank, will be open daily and will feature nearly 50 special events over six months, including luncheons with community leaders from across South Mississippi, panel discussions, community projects, and evening conversations with such key figures as former Gov. Haley Barbour, former Sen. Trent Lott, and award-winning journalist Kathleen Koch, a Bay St. Louis native and former CNN correspondent.
On opening day, the museum will also launch its Hancock Bank Katrina Cafe series with WLOX Meterologist Carrie Duncan, whose lunchtime presentation, "The Birth of Katrina," will trace the origins of the monster storm until it made landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Each Friday, the museum will present community speakers in a luncheon forum, for $10, which includes lunch and entrance to the exhibits.
On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., "Katrina +10" will be free to the public, suspending the normally $10 adult admission ($5 for children). Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art founder Jerry O'Keefe, a former Biloxi mayor, will lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m., flanked by sponsors and Coast mayors.
The exhibit will re-open on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.
"Katrina +10" has been months in the making, and will encompass all five acres of the east Biloxi waterfront Ohr campus. The exhibit is also being supported by Biloxi Regional Medical Center, Walmart, C Spire, and the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce.
The museum hopes between 50,000 and 100,000 visitors see the exhibit and special events during the six-month run.
"This is a milestone exhibition on many levels," said Ohr-O'Keefe director Kevin O'Brien. "For us at the Ohr, it's the largest exhibit in our history and the first since we moved past being a construction site. For the public, it's going to be emotional, thought-provoking and moving. More importantly, we will advance the story. We're going to remind ourselves how far we've come. We're going to thank the volunteers. We're going to show the rest of the country and the millions of visitors that we have here each year just how remarkable the story of south Mississippi really is.
"We have gathered some of the most inspirational stories and storytellers of the Katrina experience, and we've put together a great lineup of speakers and special programs. As we like to say, 'you've seen the storm, now see the recovery.' That epic journey begins on Friday at 10 a.m. and will continue past Labor Day."
See the Katrina +10 website
See a preview of the WLOX exhibit
See the K10 Facebook page
Your invitation from Gov. Phil Bryant
Released by Vincent Creel, Public Affairs Manager, City of Biloxi