Our Work

Witness to Change

Conversations on Coastal Impacts

“Witness to Change: Conversations on Coastal Impacts” is a new adult reading and discussion series taking place at Louisiana public libraries and community partners through the LEH’s Coastal Impacts initiative, funded by BHP. The series incorporates history, memoir, and fiction and engages members of the general public in conversations on the beauty of and challenges faced by coastal communities.

Participants will engage in discussions led by scholar facilitators who encourage critical thinking about the subjects discussed.

Schedule of Sites

Dates are subject to change. Programs are run by host sites; for the most current program status, check each individual host’s website.

Lafayette Public Library South Regional Branch
March 14–April 18, 2022
6101 Johnston Street
Lafayette, LA 70503
Programs will be offered both in-person and on Zoom. Register here.   


Terrebonne Parish Library North Branch
February 7–May 2, 2022
4130 West Park Avenue
Gray, LA 70359
Programs will be offered both in-person and on Zoom. Email Mary Katherine Kearns at mkearns@mytpl.org to register. 


Ascension Parish Library, Gonzales
April 19–May 10, 2022
708 S. Irma Boulevard
Gonzales, LA 70737
Programs will be in-person.  Call (225) 647-3955 to register.


Louisiana State University Libraries, Hill Memorial Library
March 21–May 22, 2022
95 Field House Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Sunday, March 27 – Rising (in person only): register here
Thursday, April 7 – Salvage the Bones (virtual only): register here
Thursday, April 21 – Bayou Farewell (virtual only): register here
Sunday, May 15 – The Water Knife (in person only): register here


Vermilion Parish Library Abbeville Branch
March 7–April 18, 2022
405 E. St. Victor Street
Abbeville, LA 70510
Programs will be in-person. Email Sue Trahan at suetrahan@vermilion.lib.la.us or call (337) 422-6703 to register. 


St. Charles Parish Library East Regional Branch
February 22–May 31, 2022
160 West Campus Drive
Destrehan, LA 70047
Programs will be in-person. Email Maria Bilello at maria.bilello@myscpl.org or sign up here to register.


Alexandria Museum of Art
March 24–April 28, 2022
933 Second Street
Alexandria, LA 71301
Programs will be offered both in-person and virtually. Email Olivia Helmer at olivia@themuseum.org to register.  


Cary Saurage Community Arts Center
April 9 and May 19, 2022
233 St. Ferdinand St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70802


Southern University, Old President’s House
April 28 and May 26, 2022
801 Harding Blvd
Baton Rouge, LA 70807

Programs will be offered both in-person and virtually. Register here

This program is presented by Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge


New Orleans Public Library City Archives and Special Collections, Main Library
April 12–May 17, 2022
219 Loyola Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70112
Programs will be held via Zoom. Register here


Cameron Parish Library Grand Lake Branch
February 15–May 17, 2022
10200 Gulf Highway
Lake Charles, LA 70607
Programs will be held via Zoom. Register here.  

Sessions are intended to spark dialogue around issues and themes supported by the texts listed below, including but not limited to: what makes a place a home, experiences of flooding, hurricanes, family roots and connection to place, land loss and dislocation, scarcity and adaptation, and risk and relocation.

  • Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush (Milkweed Editions, 2018)
  • The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi (Penguin Random House, 2015)
  • Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury, 2011)
  • Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana’s Cajun Coast by Mike Tidwell (Vintage Books, 2010)

Witness to Change: Conversations on Coastal Impacts is a program of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and is part of the BHP-funded project, Coastal Impacts: An Integrated Approach for Community Adaptation, Understanding, and Planning, which will assist local communities to build intergenerational coastal literacy through community conversations around books, film, and exhibitions, fostering greater understanding of and support for coastal restoration projects.