Finding Common Ground is a recently-released documentary exploring “traditional ecological knowledge” and its importance in planning for coastal restoration in Louisiana’s Mississippi River Delta.
Award-winning documentary producer Kevin McCaffrey teamed up with co-Executive Producer Dr. Robert “Bob” Thomas, Director of Loyola University’s Center for Environmental Communication, to produce this rich and informative first-hand look at the existential crisis unfolding in Louisiana’s disappearing wetlands. Audience participants can learn about this complex environmental challenge, and some of the proposed solutions, through the eyes and voices of local residents, scientists, fishermen, and policy-makers.
ABOUT KEVIN MCCAFFREY
Kevin McCaffrey is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, editor, and oral historian. His interests primarily focus on culture, history, arts, culinary history, Louisiana cultures and the environment. He has created documentaries for broadcast television, clients, exhibits, and online and which have also been screened in several film festivals. His articles and columns have appeared in local and national magazines and newspapers and he produced a book on the history of the New Orleans Jazz Fest. He was a member of the Louisiana Folklife Commission and has been awarded grants and fellowships including a Monroe Fellowship at Tulane University studying Jazz history, Visiting Scholar at Newcomb College, and is a Fellow of the Loyola University Institute for Environmental Communication.
Most recently, he produced and directed a documentary with Dr. Bob Thomas, Director of the Loyola University Center for Environmental Communication, entitled “Finding Common Ground,” exploring communication techniques and breakdowns in environmental planning in Louisiana. Their documentary MRGOing, Going Gone? on the lessons of environmental discourse as evidenced by the struggle over the MRGO shipping channel and its contribution to the flooding disaster after Hurricane Katrina due to land loss was awarded a national Telly Award. His 2011 documentary for television on Acadian food culture, No One Ever Went Hungry: Cajun Food Traditions Then & Now, won the 2012 Louisiana Humanities Documentary of the Year Award given by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and was a finalist in two categories for the national Taste Awards. And his 2009 documentary with the The Historic New Orleans Collection for television, We Live To Eat: New Orleans’ Love Affair With Food, was a finalist for a James Beard Award in broadcast media.
His current projects include the Traditional Jazz content for A Closer Walk—a music tour app for radio station WWOZ—documentation work for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Archive. He is also pursuing fund raising for a documentary recounting the Birth of Jazz in New Orleans, as well as culinary culture and history projects.
ABOUT ROBERT A. THOMAS
Robert A. Thomas, Ph.D., Principal, EnviroEconomics Consultants, Inc. Professor and Loyola Distinguished Scholar Chair in Environmental Communication, Loyola University New Orleans, School of Mass Communication and Director Loyola Center for Environmental Communication . Dr. Thomas is a herpetologist who works on the systematics of Neotropical snakes. He is very interested in environmental communication and environmental education, and focuses his attention on resolving conflicts in public understanding of the environment. He is frequently interviewed by the local, national, and international media, especially during crises, and has appeared in many documentaries and televised science shows. Dr. Thomas has and presently serves on many boards and has be very active in societies from his various fields of herpetology, environmental education, nature center administration, and environmental journalism.