Photo by Mariana Sheppard

Photo by Mariana Sheppard

Junebug Productions' Homecoming Project is a community-based, storytelling performance series that aims to marry high-quality artistic practice with a commitment to maintaining the essential relationship between culture and progressive social change through engagement with New Orleans communities that have been historically oppressed and exploited. 

Why We Do It
We understand the immense power of arts and culture as a tool for social change. Art allows us to think beyond the margins of textbooks and past the slides of lectures. Art allows people to feel and deeply understand a concept, an experience in a way no other mode of learning is capable of. Art brings people together and artistic collaboration between creatives and community members fosters a community capable of thriving, instead of just surviving.

How We Do It
We do it by listening. We value reciprocal relationships with our community and we believe active listening to be an essential element of community building and community engagement. We listen while honoring the sacred tradition of gathering and sharing stories over food. We listen with our founder John O'Neal's words at the forefront of our minds - "You don't have to like the story that someone else tells but you do have to respect their right to tell it."

Who We Do It For
We do it for those who have been forced out of the place their ancestors have called home for generations, we do it for those who must watch their historical cultural practices become monetized while they reap no profit, we do it for those who have lost their gathering spaces to new policies that deem them criminal, we do it for those that fight to remind disaster profiteers that our culture and our city cannot be bought.

Where We Do It
We are the organizational successor to the Free Southern Theater, founded in 1963, whose objective was to stimulate creative and reflective thought among African Americans in the rural South by bringing the theater to the people. We honor that vision with our Homecoming Project performances by activating public spaces in the neighborhoods they are meant to reflect, making sure that they are accessible to all.