In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, actor Wendell Pierce, hailed for his portrayal of Det. Bunk Moreland on five critically acclaimed seasons of ‘The Wire,’ and for his work on ‘Treme’, staged a now-legendary production of ‘Waiting for Godot’ in two of the city’s most damaged neighborhoods. He speaks about the transformative power of art in the healing and revitalization of New Orleans.

On the morning of August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina barreled into New Orleans, devastating many of the city’s neighborhoods, including Pontchartrain Park, the home of Wendell Pierce’s family and the first African American middle-class subdivision in New Orleans. Heartbroken but resilient, Pierce vowed to help rebuild, and not just his family’s home, but all of Pontchartrain Park. Wendell is a native of New Orleans, and has worked to rebuild the neighborhood in which he was raised. He formed Ponchartrain Park Neighborhood Association, a non-profit corporation, to rebuild 350 affordable and environmentally friendly homes which will preserve the community character and help longtime residents come back to their neighborhood.