January 3, 2002
NEWS FROM THE LOUISIANA FOLKLIFE PROGRAM
This is the first Folklife Update that I've sent since
September, 2000, so there's lots of news. The main reason for the skipped sending out the Updates is that I
served as Interim director for the Division of the Arts from January - May, 2001. Pam Breaux, the new director
of the Division of the Arts, arrives well versed in folklore issues with a Masters in English with a concentration
in folklore from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She was well on her way to an academic career when
she served as my folklore intern back in 1994 and was introduced to arts administration. She then became the
Decentralized Arts Fund Community Development Coordinator for Region 5/Lake Charles. The next year she became
the director of the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana. She's been at the Division for six months
now, and we are delighted to have her with us.
Update from the Louisiana Folklife Program
NEWS FROM THE LOUISIANA FOLKLIFE PROGRAM
Ann Tetreault, Western Kentucky U graduate in folklore served as the Folklife Program Assistant from August until December. Due to personal obligations, she resigned from the position and will continue to pursue and develop independent folklife projects in her home state of Connecticut.
Ann's departure leaves the Folklife Program Assistant position open. We have increased the salary to $28,000, and have abolished the restriction that had limited the term of the appointment to one year. The deadline for applications is January 11, 2002. A full job announcement is enclosed.
Nalini Raghavan, last year's Folklife Program Assistant has become the Outreach and Development Coordinator for the Louisiana Voices Folklife in Education Project. Jane Vidrine is now the Education Coordinator for Louisiana Voices since Donna Onebane resigned. Donna is reworking her dissertation for publication.
The Folklife Program has deposited its project files at LSU Special Collections and LSU Oral History Program. They have already logged 500 audio tapes from the Louisiana Storytelling Project from 1990. This spring they will be logging an additional 500 tapes of interviews and archiving an additional 22 feet of paper files.
The Louisiana Folklife Commission met on Friday, December 14 in Baton Rouge. At its previous meeting on March 16, 2001, the following new officers were elected: Joyce Jackson (LSU), Chair; Marcia Gaudet (La. Folklore Society), Vice Chair; Sheila Richmond (La. Folklife Society) Secretary; and as Members at Large--Susan Roach (La. Tech), Ray Berthelot (State Parks), Tamra Carboni (State Museum), and Geraldine Smith (Jean Lafitte NPS). New Commissioners include Pam Breaux, Division of the Arts director; Kevin Billiot, Intertribal Council; and Winnie Byrd, Louisiana Preservation Alliance.
The Louisiana Regional Folklife Program is now fully funded. The Louisiana Division of the Arts received an additional $100,000 making the total line item for folklife, $350,000. This will enable us to start programs at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I am now working with the two universities to hire Regional Folklorists. We've also had a change with the New Orleans Regional Folklorist. Ray Brassieur has taken an anthropology faculty position at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Laura Westbrook is the new Regional Folklorist at the University of New Orleans, College of Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA). Dr. Westbrook received her PhD in English with a concentration in folklore from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; her dissertation was entitled "Common Roots: The Godchaux Family in Louisiana History, Literature, and Public Folklore." Laura has public folklore experience with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the Louisiana Heritage Initiative, a project of the National Parks Service and the Louisiana Office of Tourism, where she worked with the Sweet Home Baptist Church Museum and various other organizations. Laura started with the Greater New Orleans Regional Folklife Program on September 4.
Dr. Westbrook inherited the Building Arts Project, established by Dr. C. Ray Brassieur, the College of Urban and Public Affairs, and the New Orleans Museum of Art, to document and help preserve New Orleans's building trades. Thus far, fieldworkers have interviewed master masons, plasterers, wood workers, and others about their skills that help to maintain the city's fabulous built environment. Laura will continue fieldwork, and is working with the New Orleans Museum of Art to develop an exhibit of New Orleans Building Arts, entitled 'Raised to the Trade,' for presentation in November of 2002. She has been working to make or maintain connections with organizations that might wish to utilize the Building Arts materials for projects with which the Regional Folklorist can lend assistance. Thus far, these include the Preservation Resource Center's efforts to develop neighborhood tourism, especially in conjunction with their focus on "Jazz Houses"—houses that have connections to renowned jazz musicians, and the New Orleans Craft Guild, which is creating a documentary film that will enhance interpretation at NOMA. Vocational projects, such as the Historic Preservation Training Program, will build on this work to develop and implement building arts curricula in vo-tech schools.
Laura is also working with artist Karen Konnerth and teachers from St. Leo the Great School in New Orleans to incorporate information about New Orleans cultural traditions into its curriculum. She conducts workshops on interviewing techniques with 4th and 5th graders and teachers. The (local architecture) curriculum that is primarily targeted toward the 5th grade is largely based on the Building Arts fieldwork. Other lessons in development include New Orleans holidays (pre-K, K, and 1st grade), foodways (2nd grade), the Mississippi River (3rd grade), and New Orleans music (4th grade).
In January, Laura will embark on a cultural survey in St. Bernard Parish. She will begin work in the Sicilian Italian community, and with the Scenic Byway that runs along LA 46. She is helping community members to identify funding for a variety of projects in the parish.
Dr. Westbrook is consulting with the German Coast Heritage Trail project, which has begun laying the groundwork for field research in the river parishes, and with the Mississippi River Road Commission, which hopes to develop interpretive plans for the area. Plans call for the trail to eventually extend from the Bonne Carre to Gretna.
Laura has assisted with Louisiana Voices Folklife in Education workshops, and will conduct Region 5 workshops in connection with the St. Leo project and with the German Coast Heritage Trail. She is also working to develop relationships with organizations that work in areas which are "neighbors" to cultural studies, such as community and government departments of natural resources and environmental affairs, and is looking toward interesting or unusual agencies for potential partnerships, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Contact Laura Westbrook at 504/539-9644 or email@example.com.
Susan Roach, Regional Folklorist at the Louisiana Tech University Department of English, is continuing folklife presentations and workshops, consultations with individual artists and museums, teaching, research, and preparation of research materials for archiving. In addition to offering more of her field workshops on interviewing techniques focusing on collecting folklife and oral history, she has initiated a new research project: The Louisiana Quilt Documentation Project and is conducting quilt documentation clinics in North Louisiana. The clinics focus on documenting in detail all types of quilts made in different periods in the state with photographs, measurements, and other formal information as well as documenting quiltmakers and their backgrounds. Ultimately, the goals of the project are to provide a methodology for statewide research and to develop quilt exhibitions. To this end, she is setting up a website with a searchable database being designed by graduate assistant Matthew Johnson from the Art Department, with input from graduate assistant Katrina Parker and La. Dept of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism technologist Greg Wirth. She hopes to have the website available by Summer 2002. So far, two quilt documentation clinics are scheduled for 2002: Snyder Museum in Bastrop on Jan. 17, and Concordia Parish Library in Vidalia on Jan. 25. For more information or to schedule a documentation, contact Susan Roach.
She also conducted research and prepared a report proposing why and how regional folklorists (and other cultural specialists) might enhance the Louisiana Scenic Byways program through identification and interpretation of existing cultural features appropriate for the travelers using the system. Using a specific stretch of Scenic Byway, north from Lake Providence south to St. Joseph, she presented a case study listing of selected sites, including folklore genres and types of cultural features and strategies that could be incorporated by the Scenic Byways system. A version of this report was presented at the Louisiana Rural Tourism Development Conference on Nov. 9 at Toledo Bend.
Roach is continuing her involvement with the state folklife in education project, Louisiana Voices. This summer at the Louisiana Voices Teachers' Institute she conducted a demonstration interview with Penola Caesar of Monroe on African-American lined-out, metered hymns–a presentation that was repeated at the Louisiana Folklife Festival. With assistance from new graduate assistant Kay Gandy, a former elementary teacher and doctoral candidate in education, the La. Tech regional program is exploring coordinating the content standards in Louisiana Voices lessons with the state testing standards, in an effort to broaden the appeal of the study units.
She also continues a wide range of folk artists interviews, including Anjum Sadiq, a Kashmir native, on the Mendhi tradition, and Homer Bailes, last surviving member of the Bailes Brothers old-time country and gospel group, which performed on the Grand Ole Opry and the Louisiana Hayride.
She has also conducted a number of Interviewing Workshops and is consulting with area museums. Among those are the Bienville Parish Depot Museum, which is conducting an artists' survey for developing a permanent museum exhibit and the Shadow Plantation which is developing a restoration plan for its various folk architecture structures. She is also developing a lesson on the Log Dogtrot folk house type, focusing on the Autrey House Museum in Dubach. During the winter quarter (Nov. 29-Feb. 27), she is teaching Folklore Studies (English 482), which will include a field research project on a Louisiana folklore genre.
Contact Susan Roach at 318/257-2728 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dayna Lee, Regional Folklorist at Northwestern State University, Louisiana Folklife Center, reports that the Louisiana Folk Artists Database has been extensively redesigned and expanded, and two versions are now available online. Because it contains personal information about the artists, the database itself is restricted for state use. However, the Louisiana Folk Artists website, which contains biographical information and photographs, can be accessed at www.nsula.edu/folklife/database/default.html.
The Folk Artists website has been redesigned and is undergoing expansion and revision under the direction of graduate assistant Stacy Fontenot. Stacy also designed the Region 2 website, which can be accessed at www.nsula.edu/regionalfolklife/. Photographic and textual information describing research projects on regional traditions is available for use by students, researchers, and the public. Projects include a virtual driving tour of the Cane River Creole community, documentation of the processes involved in Jena Choctaw split cane basketry, African-American Riding Clubs, and Adaesaño tamale making. An occupational folklife project with the McNeill Street Pump Station in Shreveport will be online soon.
In an on-going project, graduate student Jodie Blair is digitizing the Region 2 photograph collection and transcribing taped interviews, and program secretary Aaron Ravare continues to maintain and add to the Folk Artists database.
In partnership with the Louisiana Creole Heritage Center, the first issue of Creole Chronicles has been completed. This issue is the first in a series of six publications sponsored by the Creole Center that will document several Creole communities and traditions throughout the state. The first issue included an expanded version of the driving tour developed online, as well as folk traditions of the Cane River Creole community. The people of Cane River and the cultural landscape were explored using community narrative and photographs.
In partnership with Williamson Museum, Region 2 received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help fund a Southeastern Indian basketry conference on May 17-18, 2002, at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. The tentative agenda is available on the Region 2 website: www.nsula.edu/regionalfolklife/RegionalNews/news.htm. In addition, Region 2 received $10,000 from the National Park Service, Lower Mississippi Delta Region Initiatives, to develop a book on Southeast Indian split cane basketry within the next year.
Along with the conference and book, Region 2 is developing a database of Southeastern Indian basketry which will eventually be online and available on CD. The database will identify major holdings of Southeastern Indian basketry and will include photographs and information on weavers, tribes, and techniques included in several public and private collections.
Contact Dayna Lee at 318/357-4328 or email@example.com.
WHAT's NEW ON THE FOLKLIFE IN LOUISIANA website, www.crt.state.la.us/folklife
The final unit of Louisiana Voices Educator's Guide, www.louisianavoices.org, has been drafted and should be added online in the Spring. Folklorist Jocelyn Donlon partnered with music educator Jane Vidrine to write Unit VI Louisiana's Musical Landscape.
Further developing the Folklife in Louisiana website has become my primary focus when I'm not doing grants administration or working with the Regional Folklorists. If you haven't taken a look at it lately, you'll see many new things. Celeste Uzee prepared a Louisiana Folklife Bibliography database that we have posted online, www.crt.state.la.us/folklife/bibliography/bibliosearch.asp. This includes all citations used on the website and more. We are adding videotapes on Louisiana folklife. This is a separate database from the Theses and Dissertations on Louisiana Folklife originally compiled by Marc David that we update annually.
Quite a few things are in development, but not yet posted. Susan Levitas is working with us to identify video clips to post online. The first eleven are already online and she is working on posting another batch that will primarily support the music unit. We are also working with Ben Sandmel to post ten audio clips which will also support the music unit. The French Immersion Program has translated another unit into French so that it can use it in its programs: Unit IX The Seasonal Round and the Cycle of Life.
Nalini Raghavan has been worked with Greg Wirth, DCRT webmaster, to redesign the Creole State Exhibit and Photo Gallery. Ann Tetreault spent a good deal of her time adding images and commentary to the database. The previous one had technical problems that could not be overcome. The Gallery disappeared one day when a link was edited, never to be found again! Since it had to be reconstructed, we made one imagebase. Once it is up, users will be able to select images related to Louisiana Voices units. It is also designed so that images can easily be added and commentary edited. We will be able to determine what topics need to be better represented visually and add the work of other photographers.
Louisiana Voices Folklife in Education Project
This Fall, Louisiana Voices conducted 13 workshops around the state. Five were Folklife and Technology workshops held at the Department of Education's Learning, Teaching, Technology Centers (TLTCs). Others were held at individual schools. Nine more workshops are scheduled for Spring 2002. Contact Nalini Raghavan to schedule a workshop, 225/387-6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We had some staffing changes with Louisiana Voices. Donna Onebane resigned as Education Coordinator to prepare a book manuscript based on her dissertation. Jane Vidrine is now Education Coordinator, with Outreach and Development Coordinator Nalini Raghavan scheduling workshops.
Giving Voice is the new newsletter for the Louisiana Voices project. The first issue will be in the Spring and will go to the 1600 teachers, librarians, administrators, and university faculty that have been involved with the project. If you would like more information about this project, just let me know, and I'll add you to that mailing list.
The 2002 Louisiana Voices Folklife in Education Institute will be at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on June 10-14. In June 2001, then Education Coordinator Donna Onebane directed our third institute with assistance from folk arts in education specialist Bonnie Sunstein who also provided a master class for Louisiana Voices workshop presenters. We now have the following folklorists and educators trained as workshop presenters: Jocelyn Donlon, Debra Harley, Lana Henry, Susan Roach, Jane Vidrine, Aunya Byrd, and Donna Onebane. Laura Westbrook is in training, and the new Regional Folklorists will also be trained once they are in place. Our collaboration with the LA Dept of Education has expanded to the Division of Student Standards and Assessments. We are participating in its efforts to upgrade the quality of the English Language Arts and Social Studies curricula. There is also interest in developing Folklife I as a high school elective and companion course for English I. The French Immersion Program translated into French, Unit VIII The Worlds of Work and Play, focuses on fieldwork. Fabienne Ardus translated it under the direction of Richard Guidry. Our partnerships have also expanded into higher education.
Outreach and Development Coordinator Nalini Raghavan has developed a number of collaborations including Louisiana Learn and Serve, which has adopted a folklife project designed around lessons in the Louisiana Voices Educator's Guide. This project is one of the minigrant options available to K-12 educators who wish to produce service learning projects in their schools. We also assisted the Assumption Parish "I Can" After School Program. Other collaborations include Jean Lafitte National Park which has trained its interpretative rangers with Louisiana Voices to better collaborate with local schools; Louisiana State Parks also invited us to speak at the Southeastern State Park Program Seminar in December 2001.
NEWS FROM THE DIVISION OF THE ARTS
Nomination forms for the 2001 Louisiana Governor's Arts Awards are now available and due by Feb. 8th. Presentation of the awards will be May 1st at the Old State Capitol. Nominations will be accepted in the following categories: Folk Artist; Arts Education; Arts Organization, Small; Arts Organization, Large Business/Corporate, Small; Business/Corporate, Large; Lifetime Achievement; Patron; Professional Artist; and Promotion of The Arts. For a nomination form, contact Division (225) 342-8180; (225) 342-8173 FAX; email@example.com; or ww.crt.state.la.us/arts.
March 1 is the deadline to apply for Project Assistance, Arts in Education, Apprenticeships, Fellowships, and Artist Roster applications. I strongly recommend that you send me a draft of your grant before the deadline, especially first time applicants. Applications with which DOA staff assist fare much better in the panel process. Informational workshops explaining the application process will be held:
Jan. 14th Houma Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum (7910 Park Ave.) 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 16th Baton Rouge Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge (427 Laurel St.) 10:00 a.m. - Noon
Jan. 17th Lafayette Art House (704 Lee Ave.) 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 18th Lake Charles Central School (809 Kirby St.) 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 22nd West Monroe City Hall (2305 N. Seventh St.) 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Jan. 23rd Shreveport Shreveport Regional Arts Council (800 Snow St.) 10:00 a.m. - Noon
Jan. 24th New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center (900 Camp St.) 10:00 a.m. - Noon
Jan. 24th New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center (900 Camp St.) 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Jan. 25th Alexandria River Oaks Square (1330 Main St.) 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
$5,000 Artist Fellowships
Boatbuilder Faren Serrette of Cecelia was awarded the 2002 Artist Fellowship in Folklife. We receive relatively few fellowship applications from folk artists -- only about 6 per year. Few unsuccessful applicants ever try again. Please encourage or assist folk artists to apply.
THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE HAVE RECEIVED A FELLOWSHIP IN THE PAST 10 YEARS, AND THEY ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE NOT ELIGIBLE TO APPLY:
Faren Serrette, Cecelia, boatbuilding; Dempsy Perkins, Reeves, woodworking; R. David Egan, Lafayette, singer/songwriter/pianist; Anthony "Tuba Fat" Lacen, New Orleans, jazz tuba; William "Buddy" Leonard, Covington, blacksmithing; Henry Watson, Livonia, bas relief carving; Raymond Sedatol, Pierre Part, wooden boatbuilding; Ernest "Tabby" Thomas, Baton Rouge, blues musician; Mary Verret, Theriot, Houma Indian Spanish moss dolls (deceased); Paulette Wright-Davis, New Orleans, African American gospel singer; "Nonc" Allie Young, Eunice, Cajun accordion player; Lawrence "Shine" Mouton, Crowley, Cajun accordion builder; Robert D. Lambert, Bogalusa, old-time country fiddle playing; Gerald "Jake" Millon, New Orleans, Mardi Gras Indian; and Lionel Leleux, Kaplan, Cajun fiddler and fiddlemaker.
$500 Artist Mini-Grants: Remember this deadline is moving to August 1 and December 1.
Artist Mini-Grants were awarded to the following in folklife: Sept 2000: Isleño duck carver Irvan Perez, musician David Egan, and dollmaker Denise Trouillier. March 2001: Henry L. Harden, Jr., Baton Rouge; Marce Lacouture, Breaux Bridge. Sept 2001: Clifton Choctaw basketmaker Becky Tyler; Clifton Choctaw basketmaker Kathlene Thomas; boatbuilder Tony Latiolais.
2001-2002 Project Assistance
Louisiana Folklife Center, NSU/Natchitoches Folk Festival, $11,071
Acadiana Arts Council/La. Folk Roots, 2nd Dewey Balfa Cajun & Creole Heritage Week, $9,631
City of Monroe, 2001 Louisiana Folklife Festival, $9,126
Neighborhood Housing of New Orleans, Lafitte Skiff Restoration, 6,208
Performing Arts Society of Acadiana, BeauSoleil in Concert, $3,807
River Road African American Museum, Juneteenth Freedom Festival $6,689
Rural African American Museum, Family Folk Fun Fest $1,301
Town of Kentwood, Sweet Home Folklife Festival, $2,167
F.B. Snell/Beau Bacon, curing furniture, $4,483
Dana Asa Wright/Gregory Tillman, boatbuilding, $4,098
Kathlene Thomas/Eunice M. Tyler, Clifton Choctaw basketmaking, $3,681
Becky Tyler/Valerie M. Tyler, Clifton Choctaw basketmaking, $3,413
Mary Jones/Christy Murphy, Choctaw chinaberry necklaces, $4,325
2001-2002 Decentralized Arts Funding Program grants to folklife projects:
Jefferson Parish, City of Kenner, Canne Brulee Native American Program, $8,000
Orleans Parish, Asian Pacific American Society/Festival, $2000
Orleans Parish, LA Wildfowl Carvers & Collectors/Competition, $2000
St. Bernard Parish, Canary Island Descendants Assn/Expo IV, $10,000
St. Tammany Parish, Town of Abita Springs, Classic Country Dance, $3,500
Lafourche Parish, NSU, Ellender Memorial Library/Folklife Festival, $2,675
St. Charles Parish, River Road Historical Society, Destrehan festival, $2,930
St. Landry Parish, Creole Heritage, Inc., Summer Enrichment Program, $4,964
St. Landry Parish, Creole Heritage, Inc., Juneteenth Celebration, $8,109
St. Martin Parish, Louisiana Folk Roots, Fait a la Main Workshop Series, $8,214
Allen Parish, Four Winds Tribe-Cherokee Louisiana, Native American Indians project, $5,962
Beauregard Parish, Merryville High School, Heritage Series, $3,450
Beauregard Parish, Merryville Historical Society and Museum, $7,950
Avoyelles Parish, Avoyelles Public School Charter, Art Attack 2002, $1,715.51
Avoyelles Parish, LA Commmission des Avoyelles, Inc., Folklife Ways $3,368.39
Bienville Parish, Bienville Depot Museum, From Folk Art to Fine Art, $4,160
Natchitoches Parish, Assn for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches, $4,344
Sabine Parish, Choctaw-Apache Community of Ebarb, Pow-Wow, $2,323
NEWS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE, RECREATION, AND TOURISM
The Louisiana State Museum continues to offer a free consultation and technical assistance service to any museum or historical society in the state that desires it. Shannon Glasheen, Curator of Statewide Services, will be happy to visit your facility and, with the resources of the Louisiana State Museum behind her, advise and assist you with collections care and management, exhibition, educational and administrative issues. Contact Shannon Glasheen, 504/568-5975, 800-568-6968, 504/568-4995 (fax), firstname.lastname@example.org.
The museum will be opening a Civil Rights Museum in New Orleans with Don Devore as the Branch Manager. Keith Hardison is the Branch Manager for the Louisiana State History Museum to be built in Baton Rouge this coming year.
The Louisiana Center for the Book and the State Library of Louisiana are spearheading production of the first annual Louisiana Book Festival, a free, day-long celebration of Louisiana writers, books and reading. Center director Rod Mills reports that the festival will be Saturday, November 2, 2002 in Baton Rouge. Louisiana writers are being selected and invited to present panel discussions, readings and lectures in the State Capitol. The Capitol and State Library grounds will be provided with tents for booksellers, publishers, and other literary and literacy organizations. Additionally, there will be book signings, poetry readings, arts-of-the-book demonstrations, book-related exhibitions, storytelling and other activities for both children and adults.
Office Of Tourism: Sharon Calcote with the Heritage Tourism Program reports that her efforts to get folklorists involved with the tourism industry and to help develop more authentic projects and interpretation at sites is finally happening. Jocelyn Donlon is on contract to conduct field work and to complete some projects that had been on hold. She has edited copy for the Huey Long tour of Baton Rouge, conducted field work and is helping finish the Louisiana portion of Grant's March on Louisiana -- part of the Vicksburg Campaign. She's organizing field work and working with Laura Westbrook on development of the German Coast, north of New Orleans. Jocelyn and Jon Donlon have edited the text for a brochure, Outlaws, Bandits and Pirates, and is helping to develop a website design for it -- in time for the Louisiana Purchase celebration.
Sharon is also working with Susan Roach to develop a plan to enhance the scenic byways system which resulted in Susan's folklore presentation at the Louisiana Rural Tourism Conference. There will also be a session on Tourism and the Humanities at the Louisiana Travel and Tourism Summit -- with Jennifer Mitchel of Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and Jocelyn and Jon Donlon and Sharon, in which they discuss and define humanities overall, then explain how folklife/folklore fits into tourism. They are using the project with Sweet Home Baptist Church Museum in Kentwood as the case study. Sweet Home Folklife Days was the lead story in the National Trust for Historic Preservation's newest publication, "Share Our Heritage: Cultural Tourism Success Stories." This panel was also presented at the Louisiana Museum Association annual meeting.
The Sweet Home project was part of the Highway 51 Corridor Project which is being extended through Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky. Highway 51 travels from the northshore of Lake Pontchartrain to the southshore of Lake Superior. They plan to pull in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin. A website is being discussed along with a series of themes linking the states.
Louisiana will host the Southeast United States Heritage Tourism meeting in Lafayette, January 20-23, 2003. This meeting is an outgrowth of the White House Conference on Tourism -- Partners in Tourism, which recommended regional meetings.
Atchafalaya Trace Commission and Heritage Area: Jason Stagg, director of the Commission reports that Shomer Zwelling - an Interpretive Specialist based in Williamsburg, VA - has been contracted to work with an interpretive committee to develop an interpretive plan. Committee members include: Carl Brasseaux (ULL - Center for Cultural and Eco Tourism), Ray Brassieur (ULL), Jolene Adam (Acadian Memorial - St. Martinville), Lu Cutrera ( LJC Designs - working extensively with St. Mary Parish, the Corps of Engineers, Department of Natural Resources Atchafalaya Program), Joan Exnicios (Corp of Engineers), Karl Hakala (Jean Lafitte NPS), Kitty Schwartz (Iberville Parish Tourist Commission and Chair of the Atchafalaya Trace Commission), Maida Owens (Folklife Program), Jocelyn and Jon Donlon (folklorists under contract with the Louisiana Office of Tourism), Sharon Calcote (Office of Tourism), Bill Rodman (filmmaker), Charles Siler (State Museum), Ivor van Heerden (LSU Hurricane Center and naturalist studying the Basin), and Horatio Handy (St. Martinville Cultural Center). The interpretive plan is scheduled to be completed by early Spring 2002.
Louisiana Purchase Commission: Louisiana will host a statewide, year-long celebration in 2003 commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase. The event is being planned along the lines of FrancoFete. The Department has funded some anchor events and is compiling a list of activities designated as Louisiana Purchase events which will be online. The Commission is especially interested in identifying rural events. Lt. Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco welcomes the participation of all Louisiana communities and hopes that each community will celebrate in its own unique fashion. To have your event included, contact: Mary Perrault, Dept of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, PO Box 94361, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9361; 225/342-8115; 225/342-3207 (FAX) or www.crt.state.la.us.
Mississippi River Road Commission: The Commission, which received funding for the first time this year through DCRT, addresses both sides of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. director Jennifer Grand reports that the Commission has approved funding an interpretative plan this year. It is also in the process of establishing a website and creating a Friends of the Mississippi River Road non-profit group.
NEWS FROM AROUND THE STATE
The annual Louisiana Folklore Society will meet in Natchitoches on April 12-13, 2002. Paper proposals should be sent to Dayna Lee, Louisiana Folklife Center, Box 3663 NSU, Natchitoches, LA 71497, by January 31, 2002. For more information, contact Dayna Lee, 318/457-4328 or email@example.com.
Christine Balfa and Dirk Powell have been the creative energy for a new non-profit organization, Louisiana Folk Roots. Their first project was the Dewey Balfa Cajun Creole Week last year. The 2002 event will be from April 14-21 at Lake Fausse Pointe State Park, St. Martinville. For those who cannot attend the full week, there are afternoon and evening classes. Registration is still open, but filling fast. One benefit of membership is their newsletter with interviews and profiles of musicians, artists, and others; and announcements such as Fait a la Main (Handmade), a weekly series of lessons in music, crafts, language and culture. For more information, contact Louisiana Folk Roots, PO Box 389, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517, firstname.lastname@example.org, 337/332-0967, 337/507-3479 fax.
Bayou Lafourche Cultural Coalition: Melanie Boulet reports on efforts to create a "cultural school" to teach all ages duck carving, pirogue building, French speaking, accordion and fiddle playing, traditional gardening, and more. One year ago, a coalition of twelve cultural groups formed along the southern banks of Bayou Lafourche seeking to establish a common "home" in which to pass on local culture and folk arts. They spent the year visiting cultural centers around the state and around the country. In January, they will begin a series of workshops with the Tulane Regional Urban Design Center to plan a multi-disciplinary facility to be open 10 hours a day, 7 days a week – because that's what it will take to preserve their culture. A Design Arts grant from the Division of the Arts took coalition members to four out-of-state cultural centers: the Ozark Folk Center in Arkansas, the French Library and Cultural Center in Boston, the Western Folklife Center in Nevada, and the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. The match for the grant came from visits to in-state cultural centers like the Olla Center, Vermillionville, Contemporary Arts Center, and more. Information from these trips as well as "local needs" will go into the planning of the center.
Jean Lafitte National Park & Preserve: Superintendent Geraldine Smith reports that the Park has contracted Joyce Jackson for the project, A Profile of the Fazendeville Community. Park Anthropologist Allison H. Pena noted that the project will focus on conducting selected oral history interviews of surviving Fazendeville residents and their families and associated community people with emphasis on the 1939-1965 period. This historic African American community was located between the Chalmette National Cemetery and the Chalmette Monument from 1867-1964 and included a general stores, a one-room schoolhouse, two benevolent societies and Battle Ground Baptist Church. When Chalmette National Historical Park was established in 1939, Fazendeville bisected the park. In 1964, the National Park Service acquired the Fazendeville residential area and eliminated the structures. Many residents resettled in the lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans.
Louisiana Folklife Festival: Festival director Mike Luster reports that in October the City of Monroe signed a three-year contract to produce the festival. This will enable the festival to, in turn, sign production contracts and develop long range plans and marketing strategies. The next festival will spotlight Louisiana's Latino cultures September 14-15, 2002.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival: Nancy Oschenslager, Associate Producer/Heritage Festival, reports that JazzFest 2002 will have a special focus on Native Americans. The Folklife Advisory Committee has already started meeting to advise on programming by the Folk Department which includes the Folk Village, Louisiana Marketplace and the Folk Heritage Stage (formerly, the "Folk Narrative Stage"). Also attending were coordinators of the Food Heritage Stage (Michele Nugent) and the Grandstand (Madonna Franco) in hopes of developing cross programming. The Advisory Committee includes Joyce Jackson (LSU and African Heritage Stage), Kathy Ball (African Heritage Stage), Shana Walton (U of Southern Mississippi), Allison Pena (Jena Lafitte National Park and Foundation board member), Ray Brassieur (U of LA at Lafayette), Susan Levitas (folklorist/filmmaker), Carolyn Ware (LSU English), Laura Westbrook (UNO Regional Folklorist), and Maida Owens (LFP). Mark Sindler is the Louisiana Marketplace Coordinator and Mila Rossi is the Cultural Programs Administrator in the Crafts department. Cultural Programs Manager, Ann Schneiders, is leaving Jazz Fest to work as the Financial director of YAYA in New Orleans.
Jacques Henry (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and Sara LeMenestrel (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris) are currently editing a book examining the practice of fieldwork by social scientists working on Louisiana's Cajun and Creole cultures. Provisionally titled Field, Knowledge, Action: Doing Fieldwork in French Louisiana, it will be published by Greenwood Press. It offers a reflection on qualitative humanistic research in a modern complex society. It gives particular attention to the reassessment of concepts of field and fieldwork, and the increasingly complex relationship among researchers, informants, and other participants in the cultural environment. It also considers the social implications and various applications of the acquired knowledge.
This collection of fieldwork accounts offers an assortment of periods of study (from the 1970s to the 2000s), of fields of expertise on both Cajun and Creole cultures (geography, folklore, cultural studies, anthropology), of personal profiles (insider, outsider, native French-, English-speaker, Louisiana-born, foreign), and of depth of involvement in the milieu (from the active participant to the distant academic). In addition to both editors, contributors are Barry Jean Ancelet, Deborah Clifton, Dana David (University of Louisiana- Lafayette), Carl Lindhal (University of Houston), Dean Louder and Cécyle Trépanier (Université Laval), and Marc David (University of North Carolina).
Tulane Humanities Center received a $378,900 challenge grant from the NEH that will establish its Deep South Regional Humanities Center as one of only nine such entities in the country. The Tulane center will promote education and research on the Deep South and its connections to Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America through research fellowships, teacher training, lectures, performances, exhibitions, and tours. The grant, which requires a 3 to 1 match by Tulane, is the culmination of a year and a half effort by Tulane faculty to establish a center that will serve Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. One of the major goals of the Center is to continue to develop its network of local, regional, national, and international partners working to establish "a borderless humanities community." The Center and its partners strive to reach the greatest number of people in the five-state region by breaking down the classroom walls, opening the doors of museums and archives to learners of all ages, bringing the best research to bear on cultural tourism, and forging new relationships between humanities institutions.
Among the major initiatives is the UNESCO-sponsored Transatlantic Slave Trade Education Project, an international network of universities, archives, museums, and schools devoted to teaching K-12 students about the history of slavery in the Atlantic world. Another such program is the Tulane-Cambridge Atlantic World Conference: Freedom Struggles in the Atlantic World, a conference series that brings together scholars and K-12 teachers from throughout the Atlantic world to discuss efforts to achieve racial justice and human rights. For visitors and New Orleans natives, Egghead Tours will soon offer specialty tours featuring the work of established scholars and graduate students. New Center initiatives include a multimedia Louisiana Purchase Timeline website being developed in partnership with LSU's Louisiana Purchase Digitization Project, the New Orleans Notarial Archives, the Louisiana State Museum, the Historic New Orleans Collection and the University of Paris VII. In collaboration with universities and colleges throughout the region, the Center is also planning roundtables on Deep South literature, religion, and linguistics. The Center will co-host the third conference on Language Variety in the South (LAVIS III), to be held at the University of Alabama in 2004. Seven other institutions received this NEH award and a ninth award is on hold: Ohio University (Central Region), Southwest Texas State University (Southwest Region), Temple University/Rutgers-Camden University (Mid-Atlantic Region), University of California, Davis (Pacific Region), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Plains Region), University of Wisconsin-Madison (Upper-Mississippi Valley Region), Virginia Foundation for the Humanities/University of Virginia/Virginia Tech University (South Atlantic Region).
Northwestern State University will host the Southeastern Indian Basket Conference May 17-18, 2002, in the Student Union Ballroom, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, Louisiana. The Louisiana Regional Folklife Program, Region 2, has partnered with Williamson Museum at Northwestern State University to host this conference that brings together basketmakers, museologists, researchers, tribal programmers, and others to address issues of artistic maintenance, revivalism, collections, environmental problems, conservation, and partnerships with government agencies. The focus will be on the weavers, but it will be publicized and open to the public. For more information and a tentative schedule, refer to www.nsula.edu/regionalfolklife/RegionalNews/news.htm.
UNO/American Routes: Nick Spitzer will be teach the course, American Routes: Music, Culture, and Community Life in Louisiana and Beyond, URBN 4800-001 at the University of New Orleans during the Spring Semester. A folklorist and documentary producer, Dr. Spitzer provides an overview and specific in-depth studies of the community-based sources and symbols of Louisiana, Southern and broadly American music styles and cultures. The course examines blues and jazz, Cajun and zydeco, old-time country and gospel, soul and R&B, swamp pop and rock & roll, as expressions of community cultural continuity, or the preservation of "roots." Dr. Spitzer also looks at cultural transformation or creolization in reference to the alternative metaphor of "routes." Listening sessions, films, guest artists and scholars, readings and classroom discussion are directed at upper-level undergraduates and graduate students from all New Orleans universities as well as members of the general public. Non-UNO students can register for the course on a NON-credit basis by contacting the University's Metropolitan College at 504/280-7100. Cost is $125. To register FOR credit, students at other universities must contact their own institution's registration office. Faculty at other New Orleans universities may likewise be willing to sponsor credit for the class on an independent study basis. Contact faculty and have them call 504/539-9639 to make arrangements.
The 2002 Louisiana Travel and Tourism Summit, Louisiana Tourism -An Adventure Everyday, sponsored by the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association (LTPA), will be held Jan. 21-24 at the Monroe Civic Center. Featuring more than 20 educational sessions, the focus will be on today's issues and the future of Louisiana tourism's impact on the state. Other activities include Area Familiarization Tours, an African Safari Party, the Media Trade Show, and the Travel Fair. Also, organizations functioning statewide in tourism promotion will be able to set up display tables in LTPA's Resource Center. For more information, contact: Cindy Tullier, LTPA PO Box 3988, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-3988; (225) 346-1857; email@example.com; or www.ltpa.org/SUMMIT/2002_summit.htm.
US Army Corp of Engineers/New Orleans District has posted online two booklets. Bayou Chene: The Life History of an Atchafalaya Basin Community and A History of the Baton Rouge Waterfront. Go to www.mvn.usace.army.mil and select brochures. Historian Ed Lyon and archeologist Joan Exnicios of the New Orleans District office report that in recent years, the Corps has taken more interest in addressing interpretation in their planning. The New Orleans District is developing interpretative centers in Morgan City on the Atchafalaya and in Pointe Coupee/Catahoula Parish at the Old River Control Structure. The Vicksburg District is developing a Mississippi River Museum in Vicksburg and a Red River Interpretative Center in Shreveport.
South Arts will host the annual Folklorists in the South Retreat in St. Augustine, Florida April 19-21, 2002. This event gathers traditional arts administrators, cultural workers, folklife scholars, and graduate students in the South to share program strategies, report on new trends in the field, discuss regional and national issues, and plan cooperative projects. The Retreat also features professional development workshops. Look for the 2002 Retreat agenda, lodging and registration information on the SAF website, www.southarts.org/Framesets/FITS_frameset.htm in January.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: NEW JOBS/POSITIONS
LSU: Frank de Caro retired from the LSU Dept of English in Spring 2001.
LSU: Carolyn Ware is an assistant professor in the English Department and is teaching "Women and Folklore" and "Introduction to Folklore." Carolyn is no newcomer to Louisiana. Most recently she was director of the Pine Hills Cultural Center at the University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to that she did extensive contracting and fieldwork in Louisiana with several organizations. Her dissertation focused on the role of women in the Cajun Mardi Gras.
ULL: This fall Ray Brassieur started as an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology after serving for two years as the Regional Folklorist at the University of New Orleans. Prior to that, he was director of the Oral History Program for the State Historical Society of Missouri/Western Historical Manuscript Collection.
LSU: Ina Fandrich, assistant professor in Religious Studies, specializes in African, Afro-Caribbean, and African American Religions. She also has competence in Women and Religion, Native American Religions, and the Social-Scientific Study of Religion. Several of these areas converge in her dissertation, "The Mysterious Voodoo Queen Marie Laveaux: A Study of Power and Female Religious Leadership in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans," which she is revising for publication.
The American Folklore Society will meet in Rochester, NY October 16-20, 2002. For more information refer to the society's website, http://afsnet.org/. Proposals are due April 15, 2002.
NEA: Deadlines for Challenge America Fast Track Grants are approaching.
Positive Alternatives for Youth: Feb 1, 2002 for projects 6/1/02-3/31/03
Community Arts Development: May 1, 2002 for projects 9/1/02-8/31/03
The Arts Endowment will award approximately 400 grants of $5,000 or $10,000 each for projects that serve rural areas or underserved communities. Eligible organizations may apply for existing or new projects that address only one of the priority areas. An online form for ordering hard copies as well links to download electronic versions of the Challenge America Fast Track Grants guidelines and application, www.arts.gov/guide/Challenge02/ChallengeIndex.html or 202-682-5700.
NEH: Challenge Grants Special Initiative for Local History. NEH has announced a special initiative through its Challenge Grants program to help small institutions improve their humanities resources in local history. The goals are 1) to building opportunities for research, education, and public programs in local history, especially in communities underserved by humanities activities, 2) to establish long-term partnerships among educational and cultural organizations in a community, 3) to help organizations in strategic planning, and 4) to build a base of financial support for long-term programming. Grants will range from $10,000 to $100,000. Deadline is May 1, 2002. Information on how to apply is available from the NEH website, www.neh.gov, or 202/606-8309.
Remember if you publish a booklet or CD with grant funds and want to provide free copies to parish or university libraries, I can submit them as state documents, and the State Library will distribute them. 100 copies will put one in every parish and state depository, but make sure that at least the State Library has one copy.
The next Folklife Update will go out in July. If you have anything you would like to announce, please let me know, 225/342-8180, 225/342-8173 fax, or firstname.lastname@example.org.