The brainchild of Tulane art history instructor Thomas Bayer, a grassroots movement to draft Brad Pitt to run for mayor of New Orleans has taken off with worldwide news coverage, millions of Internet hits and a T-shirt that is increasingly becoming more visible around town.
Pitt, whose Make It Right Foundation is on its way to building 150 homes in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans by the end of next year, has so far been good-natured about his unsolicited “candidacy.” During an interview on NBC's “Today” show, the actor offered a prognosis of his political future in the city: “I don't have a chance,” he said.
In this video produced by Nick Marinello, Tulane art history instructor Thomas Bayer shares his rationale for launching the “Brad Pitt for Mayor” campaign, including some of the “13 Reasons Why Brad Pitt Should Be the Next Mayor of New Orleans.”
And he's right. Candidates eligible to run in the mayoral primary held next February must be residents of New Orleans for at least five years. Pitt and his partner, Angelina Jolie, bought a home in New Orleans in 2007.
Even so, Bayer says he hopes to inspire New Orleanians to join a “Pitt crew” that will commit to the continuing renewal of the city four years after Hurricane Katrina.
In the spirit of community service, this fall semester Bayer is teaching a service-learning course in which Tulane students will work with street artists in the Jackson Square area to photograph and catalog the artists' work as well as record their biographies.
As for the T-shirt, Bayer says, “It's just what art should be, reaching to the Jungian psyche, the collective unconscious of people to evoke an emotional response and to provoke discourse.”
Storyville, the Magazine Street shop that is selling the campaign T-shirts conceived by Bayer, is donating $2 from the sale of each T-shirt to the Make It Right Foundation.