Remember when good ole fashioned healing included a teaspoon of whiskey and a shot of vodka for extra measure? We’ve come a long way since the days of spirit swilling doctors, proved undoubtedly by the grand opening of the New Orleans Healing Center. A healing center? Located where?
Before you act surprised that the land of bloody marys and Mardi Gras has suddenly given birth to a state of the art wellness center, don’t be. This has been a dream long in the making by Pres Kabacoff, our beloved New Orleans architect/change maker/healing center brainchild. The true mission behind the center is to “help, heal, and empower individuals and surrounding neighborhoods” through the offerings of over a dozen organizations housed in its building. This includes a yoga center, street university, green incubator, fitness center, and much, much more. You can see all of the incredible facets of the healing center here.
Located on St. Roch Ave. and St. Claude Ave, The Healing Center is centered in an area of the Faubourg Marigny identified as a region in need of revitalization. For this reason (and dozens of other amazing reasons that you can read about here), Kabacoff decided to take a dilapidated old furniture building and turn it into the big momma of all happy, healthy places, courtesy of funding from the state and private investors.
So how can you start reaping the benefits of this goodness? You can go over right now. The healing center is already open to the public. But you absolutely MUST swing by the grand opening on Sunday, August 28th, 2011 10 AM-10 PM for this historic occasion. The celebration begins in true NOLA style, with a second Line at 10 AM on Rampart Street and Canal Street. According to Google maps, that’s 1.7 miles away from the actual Healing Center, just enough distance to get shaking and shimmying and flouncing your way on foot, alongside a brass band. Of course, once you’re there you can stay warmed up with free yoga classes courtesy of Wild Lotus Yoga, also located in the healing center.
Some other stuff going on? There are panel discussions on sustainability and healing from 2:30 PM – 6:30 PM. There are also tons of giveaways. The Downtown Fitness Center is raffling off passes for free gym membership and goodies like t-shirts and bags. They’ll even have a chiropractor on hand to examine your creaky back from way too much dancing! Maple Leaf Book Shop has a day of fun for the children, with children’s book readings and coloring books for the kiddies. Love music? The Healing Center has you covered. 1:30 PM commences a full day jam session with John Boutte, Treme Brass Band, Mardi Gras Indians, and more. The best part of all is this is it’s a full day extravaganza, 10 AM to 10PM, 12 glorious hours of health, well being, and a jubilant celebration of the way that New Orleans has become not only a symbol of recovery, but also a symbol of healing.
Here are the details in brief:
Where? The New Orleans Healing Center is located at 2372 St. Claude Avenue. Afraid of getting lost? You’ll know the Healing Center when you see it: it’s painted every single color of neon that David Bowie could ever imagine.
When? Sunday, August 28th, 2011. The Healing Center’s doors open at 10 AM and close at 10 PM. The second line to the Healing Center starts at Canal Street & St. Claude at 10 AM.
How? A free shuttle will run continuously to the Healing Center on August 28th. See the New Orleans Healing Center website for more details.
It’s no mistake that the grand opening is the day before the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. This will be such a powerful way to commemorate the event and celebrate our progress since. I hope to see you there!