In 2004, the Neighborhood Story Project was founded by Rachel Breunlin and Abram Himelstein as a book-making project based in the neighborhoods where New Orleanians live and work. NSP works with writers in neighborhoods around New Orleans to create books about their communities.
The NSP started at public school, John McDonogh Senior High, with the idea of students investigating their worlds. For a year, the students wrote, photographed, interviewed, and edited. In June of 2005, the NSP brought out five books—collaborative ethnographies—about New Orleans.
The NSP has expanded their practice of collaborative ethnography outside of schools, producing books and posters that do the work of telling stories of the city. The NSP works with authors and neighborhoods, then celebrate a publication with block parties. The books have gone on to be citywide bestsellers, selling more than 35,000 books.
The NSP is a center at the University of New Orleans, with Rachel Breunlin in the Department of Anthropology and Abram Himelstein in the College of Education and Human Performance.