Clarinetist fights poverty, violence in New Orleans with music

Posted on: August 16, 2012

In Thursday’s (8/16) Times-Picayune (New Orleans), Annette Sisco writes, “An activist with a clarinet, Darryl Durham works to lead the children of Treme [district] to a better life through the program he directs, Anna’s Arts for Kids at St. Anna’s Episcopal Church. Anna’s Arts is a year-round program of tutoring, art, nature and community service. This year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana recognized Durham with an Angel Award, an annual honor that goes to a person who works selflessly to improve the lives of at-risk children. The award brings $20,000 for the honoree to donate to the cause of his choice. … A classically trained clarinetist and conductor who practices three hours a day, Durham, 51, was executive director of the Harlem School of the Arts in New York City. As a child of the 1960s, he also has a passion for social justice, and he came to New Orleans to gut houses with Acorn after Hurricane Katrina. It all came together when Durham started showing up to play his clarinet at Wednesday night musicians’ services at St. Anna’s. The Rev. Bill Terry enlisted him in the fight to keep the neighborhood’s children off the church’s ‘murder board,’ a sign bolted to the front of the building that records the names of all the city’s homicide victims. The weapon: a positive youth program that tries to make up for the gaps in education and home life.”

Posted August 16, 2012