The Will and the Way: The Enduring Spirit of New Orleans

Following on the heels of some of the most challenging years in the history of our beloved home, 2018 had been a significant year for the City of New Orleans. As one of the world’s most unique and diverse cities, New Orleans has spent this year celebrating its Tricentennial; 300 years of progress, setbacks and unwavering pride.

But behind the celebratory curtain, the city’s leaders and citizens realized the need to be realistic as opposed to merely congratulatory in order to set the stage for the next century.

Trumpet was approached by the 2018 NOLA Foundation and the Office of Mayor Mitch Landrieu to collaborate on a Tricentennial Legacy Project for the City of New Orleans. While on the surface we were asked to compile and share the city’s accomplishments from the past decade, the Foundation and Mayor’s office had a deeper goal: they wanted to inspire the people of New Orleans to continue building on the progress that had been made.

Knowing that simply listing the points of progress would hardly inspire New Orleanians, we were challenged to facilitate that deeper purpose through the project. Why did people need to know about the individual accomplishments of their community leaders and neighbors? Why should initiatives that would be considered a given in other cities – like filling a pothole or opening a community center – be lauded as something larger here in New Orleans?

We knew that content strategy and UI/UX needed to impart a greater meaning and purpose through a long list of individual accomplishments. The challenge was how to present the hard work of individuals, who had their own momentum, in a way that illustrated the collective momentum needed for seismic change. So, we developed a content strategy that put the faces and voices of real New Orleanians at the forefront to tell their stories of accomplishments. The UX/UI  allowed for brevity to displace thoroughness, which put the past decade in context of New Orleans’ 300 years. The project sought to give people a reason to believe in the future of the city. And equally as important, we wanted to showcase the antithesis of the very apathy and complacency that led to neglected neighborhoods, underserved residents, a rise in crime, and an unfocused government.

This project, made up of The Will and the Way website and video series, isn’t just to provide hope or blind optimism. It is an accounting of the last decade of New Orleans’ 300 years, told through individual accomplishments made by people, businesses and a City Hall that realized only progress begets progress. The Will and the Way was created from the realization that meaningful change is only possible when there is momentum and faith that it can be done.