Efforts are underway to honor one of Louisiana’s most influential recording artists, Amédé Ardoin (1898–1941) a Creole musician who merits a biographical entry in KnowLA, The Digital Encyclopedia of Louisiana (knowla.org). Ardoin was a seminal but mysterious figure in Louisiana history, and he remains something of an enigma since he met an unfortunate fate in the last years of his life as an incarcerated mental patient at Central Louisiana Hospital in Pineville.
The new issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas hits mailboxes and newsstands this month. We’ll celebrate the issue with a publication party on Thursday, June 26, at the Louisiana Humanities Center in New Orleans.
Contributors (and regular LCV columnists) Richard Campanella and Matt Sakakeeny discuss their new books, excerpted in the issue. Buy your copy of Bourbon Street: A History and Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans at the event from Garden District Books. Our favorite Louisiana-based sponsors, Abita and Zapp’s, provide refreshments at 6pm, and talks start at 7pm. And for the first time, we’ll repair next door to an official after-party with our new neighbors, Cellardoor.
The Louisiana Humanities Center is located at 938 Lafayette Street. Parking is available in the white-lined spaces behind the building. The event is free and open to the public. For more info, contact Brian Boyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504.620.2632.
“Then, through the smoke and racket of the noisy Chicago bar float Louisiana bayous, muddy old swamps, Mississippi dust and sun, cotton fields, lonesome roads, train whistles in the night, mosquitoes at dawn, and the Rural Free Delivery, that never brings the right letter. All these things cry through the strings on Memphis Minnie’s electric guitar, amplified to machine proportions — a musical version of electric welders plus a rolling mill.”
The Spring 2014 edition of Louisiana Cultural Vistas debuted in mid-March with a rebranded logo that celebrates the magazine’s 25th year in print. Click here to view the digital edition and here to subscribe today.
Three contributors to the new issue will speak at a publication launch party on April 8 from 6-8 p.m. at the Louisiana Humanities Center at Turners’ Hall (938 Lafayette Street (map) in New Orleans’ Central Business District):
The following appears in the Spring 2014 issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine. Mizell-Nelson writes the “Louisiana Foodways” column for each issue. To read the full Spring 2014 issue online, click here.
New Orleans generates most of the attention when discussing the emergence of the frozen daiquiri as a cultural phenomenon, but the college towns of Ruston, Lafayette, Lake Charles, and Hammond all offered mass-produced daiquiris before the Crescent City. Those first locations, in cooperation with Baton Rouge legislation, built the frozen daiquiri culture we now live amidst. Louisiana’s unofficial, but most popular, beverage originated in the northern part of the state better known for another entrepreneurial response to our region’s extreme heat: Coca Cola.
Walter Isaacson is the 2014 LEH Humanist of the Year. President and CEO of The Aspen Institute and the best-selling author of biographies of Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Ben Franklin, Isaacson contributed this autobiographical article to the new issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine. To read the full issue online and view more photos from this article, click here. To renew your subscription to LCV, click here. The LEH will honor Isaacson at the March 29th Humanities Awards.
I once was asked to contribute a piece for a section of the Washington Post called “The Writing Life.” This caused me some consternation. A little secret of many nonfiction writers like me—especially those of us who spring from journalism—is that we don’t quite think of ourselves as true writers, at least not of the sort who get called to reflect upon “the writing life.” At the time, my daughter, with all the wisdom and literary certitude that flowed from being a 13-year-old aspiring novelist, pointed out that I was not a “real writer” at all. I was merely, she said, a journalist and biographer.
Photographer Richard Sexton is this year’s recipient of the Michael P. Smith Memorial Award for Documentary Photography (buy tickets here for the 2014 Humanities Awards). We spoke with Richard about his career and his upcoming book, Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere, scheduled for publication by the Historic New Orleans Collection in April.
LEH: Can you recall the first time you used a camera?
Sexton: The very first camera I photographed with was an old Kodak Holiday Brownie, which I still have. It belonged to my parents. I found it laying around the house and announced I wanted to take some pictures with it. There was no film in it and when we went to the drug store to buy film I was disappointed to learn that color film was too expensive. So, I ended up with black and white. Continue reading Interview: Richard Sexton→
The latest from 938 Lafayette Street in New Orleans. Visit www.leh.org for all info on LEH programs.