Team Leader of the Week: Amy Stewart

Name: Amy Nicole Stewart

Location: New Orleans, LA

Work: Owner and Head Massage Therapist of NOLA Massage. A massage therapy practice serving many folks in the Greater New Orleans Area. As well as staffing the backstage of local and out of state music festivals.

Favorite HeadCount Band: It is so difficult to pick a favorite HeadCount band since we work with so many. I can't pick one, but I will pick 3. Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Roots, & Ben Harper.

Best HeadCount Experience: I have had so many great experiences with HeadCount the past few years. This past week was incredible because I was able to bring some HeadCount posters to Michael Franti at the House of Blues for his signature. I was able to go backstage and talk with him for a bit and that was very special to me. His music has been so inspiring to me for many years now and I was grateful to be able to tell him that.

What's Your Issue? My main issue is Gulf Coast Restoration. I work with a couple of organizations and do as much as I can to try and make more people aware of the fragile state our coast is in. Now more than ever this is a most important issue as we have just begun to suffer from the worst environmental disaster of our generation. It is infuriating to know that this oil flood in our gulf may have been prevented and even more so to think that BP feels they have done enough. I want deep water oil drilling to be something of the past. I am wanting to see more people push for greener and cleaner energy and I would also like to see more money invested in wetland restoration and preservation. We will not know for several years exactly how much our ecosystem has suffered due to the negligence of British Petroleum and also the excessive use of the dispersant corexit. Currently I am working with Defender's of the Coast and their mission and goal is to track animals, fish, and birds to see how their populations have been effected. It is our duty to make sure that we never let something like this happen again and I encourage everyone to become more involved on every level to not only educate themselves, but also to only vote for people who will not let corporations get away with these types of crimes against nature. It is very important that we stop allowing these things to happen and we can take our government back by becoming more involved in the process.

Why do you like volunteering for HeadCount? I really believe that if enough people become aware of what is happening in the world around them and realize that they do have a voice then we can actually make a difference in our world. It starts on the smallest level and in our communities. We can start on our street, in our neighborhood, city, then parish/county, state and finally our country and possibly the world. It starts with one person, one idea, one conversation and then spreads from there. HeadCount is an amazing tool to begin this process. It is amazing how many different types of people I have talked to at all sorts of events and I have realized that everyone, no matter their age, race sex, political affiliation, still has the same basic wants and needs for themselves, their families, and communities. We all should focus more on what ideas we have in common rather than what we may see as different in one another. I really enjoy having conversations with all people, even if we don't agree, because I learn so much. It is also great to work at shows where there are so many people who just turned 18 and are eager to register for the first time. It always gives me a little more hope and it makes me happy to know that there are young people who care and are ready to become more involved.

Hobbies: I love listening to live music. Being born and raised in Southern Louisiana has given me access to some of the best music and festivals my entire life. I am able to see all sorts of live music every night of the week here in New Orleans and I enjoy dancing. I also spend time at home with a large collection of records and cds that I enjoy playing often. I love costuming and am given many opportunities to costume here in town. Currently all of my other spare time is studying and practicing Thai Yoga Massage which is something that is new to me and my massage practice. I also love reading and practicing yoga and pilates as often as possible.