Brad Pitt, New Orleans Residents Launch Rebuilding Campaign

Dec. 11, 2007

NEW ORLEANS /PRNewswire/ - Brad Pitt and residents of the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans recently launched a national fundraising campaign to help the city recover from the lasting devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, starting with the Lower 9th Ward.

Pitt visited the Lower 9th Ward, the site of his "Make It Right" project's first initiative—150 affordable and sustainable homes in an area leveled by Katrina that are being built in partnership with Steve Bing.

"The families of New Orleans need the help of families across America this holiday season," says Pitt. "We are asking Americans this holiday season to go to our Web site,, and send a contribution that will help us rebuild homes for these families—and rebuild their lives."

Pitt was joined by the homes' architects, who unveiled their groundbreaking designs for the community. In addition to high-quality, sustainable design, the project incorporates the spirit and culture of the Lower 9th Ward and encourages it to flourish.

Today's launch was marked by the unveiling of 150 bright pink structures the size of real houses erected throughout the project site. The pink houses, which will remain for five weeks, serve as a stand in for the vibrant community that will be built.

Pitt also unveiled innovative features of Users are able to "walk" through houses and select which items in the house they will support with their contributions. The site also allows users to provide parts of a house on behalf of their friends and families.

Following the announcements, Pitt hosted a party for Lower 9th residents. The party included appearances by Jerry Lee Lewis, Ivan Neville, and Fats Domino.

Earlier this year, Pitt and Bing announced at the Clinton Global Initiative that they each would match $5 million in contributions to the houses, for a total of $10 million in matching funds, and challenged others to join them in rebuilding New Orleans.

Pitt became a part-time resident of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. After seeing the devastation first hand and meeting with the hardest-hit residents, he began the Make It Right project to catalyze the rebuilding of New Orleans starting with the Lower 9th Ward.

The 150-home community will address the dire need for single-family housing in the Lower 9th Ward and further spark rebuilding efforts in one of the richest cultural communities in America, an area that saw houses not just flooded by water, but swept off their foundations.

The architects selected by the Make It Right team include: Adjaye Associates; Billes Architecture; BNIM Architects; Concordia; Constructs LLC; Eskew+Dumez+Ripple; Graft; KieranTimberlake Associates; Morphosis; MVRDV; Pugh + Scarpa Architecture; Shigeru Ban Architects; and Trahan Architects. John C. Williams Architects, LLC, serves as the project's Executive Architect.

Make It Right's mission is built upon catalyzing redevelopment of the Lower 9th Ward by building a neighborhood of safe and healthy homes that incorporates modern, high-quality design and construction while preserving the spirit of the community's culture.

Make It Right is committed to building 150 houses in the Lower 9th Ward; ensuring a green, affordable, sustainable, and replicable community to serve as a model for further rebuilding; including the Lower 9th Ward community as an integral part of the process; and a finance plan that ensures that residents who wish to return to the Lower 9th Ward can do so without further financial hardship.

Core Make It Right team members include Graft, an innovative architecture firm that Pitt has collaborated with on projects around the world; William McDonough + Partners, which is developing the environmental criteria guiding the project; Cherokee Gives Back Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Cherokee, a firm that specializes in remediation and sustainable redevelopment of environmentally impaired properties; and Trevor Neilson and Nina Killeen, advisors to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.

Source: Make It Right (

For additional information, contact Virginia Miller at (504) 524-3342.

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