A portrait of Ruthie Frierson by artist Saegan Swanson of Where Y'Art, as commissioned by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune for its "300 for 300" celebration of New Orleans' tricentennial. (NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
By Contributing writer NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
The Times-Picayune is marking the tricentennial of New Orleans with its ongoing 300 for 300 project, running through 2018 and highlighting 300 people who have made New Orleans New Orleans, featuring original artwork commissioned by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune with Where Y'Art gallery.
Today: Ruthie Frierson.
The icon: Ruthie Frierson.
The legacy: Ruthie Frierson was always an enthusiastic New Orleanian, as a successful real estate agent and as a volunteer engaged in myriad causes to improve the city she loves. But Hurricane Katrina's devastation presented a challenge of a different magnitude. After seeing that a move to reform Louisiana's fractured network of levee boards was languishing in Baton Rouge, Frierson set up a group to make change happen. In addition to holding legislators' feet to the fire on that issue -- and pushing for one Orleans Parish assessor's office while they were at it -- Frierson's Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans embodied what would become a post-Katrina wave of activism, fighting the good fight and inspiring others to follow suit.
The artist: Saegan Swanson.
The quote: "I went from mourning to rage to hope through action. It brought a renewed sense of hope at a time of total despair." -- Ruthie Frierson, on her emotional journey after Hurricane Katrina
Source: The Times-Picayune archives