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Sweet Home Merges With Renew Our Music

By: Staff

Monday, April 21, 2008


Assurant Contributes $500,000 to Partnership of New Orleans Cultural Agencies Sweet Home New Orleans Announces Major Grant Supporting Merge with Renew Our Music

Sweet Home New Orleans and Renew Our Music Fund have merged to form a one-stop shop for the musicians, Mardi Gras Indians, and Social Aid & Pleasure Club Members of New Orleans. Renew Our Music, a non-profit agency, co-founded by Benjamin Jaffe of Preservation Hall and Sarah Borealis, has served more than 1,700 musicians and cultural tradition bearers since Hurricane Katrina, is now a program of Sweet Home New Orleans.

In support of these significant endeavors, Assurant has donated $500,000 to Sweet Home New Orleans to benefit the culture bearers of New Orleans.

"The merging of Renew Our Music and Sweet Home New Orleans allows us to address the varied needs of the post-Katrina New Orleans Music Community. The successes of these great organizations is a testament to the resilience and strength of the citizens of New Orleans and our cultural heritage." states Creative Director of Preservation Hall, Ben Jaffe "We are very pleased to show our support of these organizations at this exciting time in their histories," stated Robert Pollock, Chief Executive Officer of Assurant. "Sweet Home New Orleans and Renew Our Music have done and continue to do outstanding work in the areas of arts education and public assistance. We are proud that this contribution, which has been made in recognition of outstanding service by New Orleans resident and former Assurant Chief Executive Officer Kerry Clayton, will further aid the musicians served by these two organizations."

Sweet Home New Orleans offers housing assistance and social services to New Orleans' tradition bearers. "Sweet Home began as a collaboration of local and national agencies," says Executive Director Jordan Hirsch "and Renew Our Music has been an integral part of our success. Now, as a Sweet Home Program, ROM will continue to evolve to meet the needs of our music community."

Renew Our Music, founded as New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund, has provided direct aid to the city's musicians since the week following Katrina. Renew Our Music assists artists and cultural institutions by making grants to community leaders, underwriting cultural education programs, and subsidizing public events like second line parades.

Working in concert, Renew Our Music and Sweet Home New Orleans will establish a comprehensive center for New Orleans' music community where they can access everything from relocation assistance to professional development services. The ability to easily access multiple services in one place will help New Orleans musicians continue to stabilize and progress from disaster recovery into sustainable living.

About Assurant
Assurant is a premier provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North America and selected international markets. Its four key businesses-- Assurant Solutions; Assurant Specialty Property; Assurant Health; and Assurant Employee Benefits--have partnered with clients who are leaders in their industries and have built leadership positions in a number of specialty insurance market segments worldwide. Assurant, a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ. Assurant has over $25 billion in assets and $7 billion in annual revenue. www.assurant.com

About Sweet Home New Orleans:
Sweet Home New Orleans is a non-profit agency that offers social services and financial assistance to the city's musicians, Mardi Gras Indians, and Social Aid & Pleasure Club members. Sweet Home's mission is to perpetuate New Orleans' cultural traditions by providing direct services to the individuals and institutions that will carry them forward.

For more information, contact Jordan Hirsch, Director of Sweet Home New Orleans, at 504-596-3924, or e-mail info@SweetHomeNewOrleans.org. To learn more about SHNO please visit the SHNO website at www.SweetHomeNewOrleans.org. Tom Morello's "Justice Tour" Rocks Across Country to Promote and Celebrate Social Activism. Sweet Home New Orleans is proud to be the New Orleans social justice partner of the Justice Tour! Head over to the Parish at the House of Blues on Sunday April 20th to see Tom Morello, as the Nightwatchman, perform with some Very special guests.