FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE PEOPLE UNITED FOR ARMSTRONG PARK CELEBRATE THE LIFE AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF PAT EVANS
Ms. Evans Served on PUfAP's Executive Board as a Guiding Force from the Organization's Inception
New Orleans, May 8, 2013-The People United for Armstrong Park have lost a founding member and true champion of its causes and Armstrong Park itself-Ms. Pat Evans. The entire organization is deeply saddened by Pat's passing, and recognize this loss not only in terms of her strides for positive change in PUfAP, but far beyond the familial scope of the organization to what Pat accomplished in the Treme neighborhood, the City of New Orleans, the State of Louisiana, in international diplomacy and consulting, and broadcasting, to name a few.
"Pat's fiery decisiveness defined and solidified PUfAP when we first started," explains Emanuel Lain, Jr. "She saw leadership qualities in me, and encouraged me to sacrifice personal ambition for the benefit of the organization. The bond she forged with me through PUfAP became so much more than a working relationship. She was a true friend."
PUfAP's Jazz in the Park event, taking place this Thursday, May 9, 2013, from 3PM to 8PM, will include a second line in Pat's honor, starting at 3PM. During the spring and fall 2012 seasons of Jazz in the Park, Pat created and managed the kids' area, providing fun and educational activities for all children who visited the park. Families actively sought out Pat while they enjoyed the Jazz in the Park festivities, as her outgoing, playful demeanor charmed and engaged their children, week after week.
"Please join us in commemorating and celebrating the life of a woman who worked to better the lives of so many others," says PUfAP CFO, Christopher Williams. "Pat Evans will be dearly missed."
Pat was born and raised in New Orleans, and called Treme her home. Pat's prolific career was founded on social justice, spanning numerous fields and disciplines, and affecting real change in Louisiana and around the world.
As Director of the Louisiana Office of Women's Services, she passed landmark legislation in Louisiana, establishing some of the first family violence, rape crisis centers and nontraditional training programs for women in the nation.
At the time of her passing, Pat was Director of the International Project for Nonprofit Leadership (IPNL) at the University of New Orleans. The project has established Nonprofit Leadership Courses as a concentration in the College of Urban and Public Affairs, the first such courses in this part of the nation. Its signature project, Urban Routes (UR), is a model of university-community engagement. Urban Routes focuses on building the capacity of neighborhoods to do their own work. It implements a neighborhood based community-building strategy by leveraging a strong university-neighborhood partnership to build the capacity of neighborhood residents, nonprofit and faith-based organizations to work collectively on neighborhood identified projects.
In addition, Pat has worked in international diplomacy and consulting, held executive positions in Louisiana government, a Fortune 500 Company, and was a documentary film producer for a major ABC-TV affiliate. Receiving national acclaim, her documentary on the Louisiana wetlands was nominated for an Emmy.
"Pat was a close friend and mentor. She was the glue that kept PUfAP going when we thought our efforts to get the park and Congo Square reopened were in vain," remembers Ben Harwood, Vice President of PUfAP. "She was a spiritual leader, and a voice and light in the dark. Her door was always open and so was her heart. She cared so much about the culture and the neighborhood, and the people in it. I can only hope that the Lord blesses me with half as much courage, tenacity, love, insight, and compassion as Pat had and lived her life sharing with others. I will never forget her and try to find more and more ways to keep her spirit and her work alive."
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About PUfAP: The People United for Armstrong Park is a volunteer-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that led the community effort to re-open Armstrong Park. Our primary work focuses on coordinating and collaborating with individuals and institutions to catalyze Armstrong Park into a premier hub for the city's cultural economy. We aim to connect individuals in the community to their culture and history by establishing the park as a nurturing, living environment for the arts, and provide opportunities to ensure their success and accomplishments in their chosen craft. Please visit www.armstrongpark.org for more information.