The Center for Gulf South History and Culture (CGS) was founded in New Orleans in 1976 by noted educator/ cultural anthropologist Stephen Duplantier. Acclaimed CGS productions include Zydeco: Creole Music and Culture in Rural Louisiana, a 60 minute video production by nationally syndicated American Routes radio producer Nicholas Spitzer; Vivre Pour Manger, a 30 minute video exploration of Cajun cuisine by Stephen Duplantier, the Louisiana Folklife Guide, the definitive compendium of this state's folkways produced by Nicholas Spitzer and D. Eric Bookhardt, Mesechabe, the Journal of Surregionalism, edited and produced by Dennis Formento, You Got To Know How To Pony: The Story of Chris Kenner, a 30 minute radio documentary produced by David Kunian and Bill Taylor, Portraits from Memory: New Orleans in the Sixties by Darlene Fife, and poet John Sinclair's Fattening Frogs for Snakes Delta Sound Suite (Surregional Press), among others.

Currently CGS co-sponsors the ParseNola residency program and collaborates with the New Orleans Art Insider as well as a variety of research projects into overlooked aspects of New Orleans History and culture. MORE>>

Forgetten Histories: Free Women of Color in the Development of Faubourg Marigny

Rosette Rochon’s Cottage, 1515 Pauger Street
By Eugene Cizek

"...In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, New Orleans and the Caribbean grew very close. It was a time of great wealth and cultural development for both the white and free black communities of both locales. Faubourg Marigny became one of the most favored places for the in­coming Creoles. A large portion of these cottages were the homes of free women of color, a group often not recognized for their important role as New Orleans became one of the world’s leading port cities. Bernard de Marigny, his brother Jean de Marigny and their free woman of color half-sister Eulalie de Mandeville, knew what great oppor­tunities lay in their futures. Bernard and Jean were the sons of Pierre and his wife Jeanne Marie Destrehan. Before this marriage, Eulalie was born to Pierre and Marie Jeane, an enslaved woman born in the Congo, who was given her freedom after the birth of her free-born daughter. Marie Jeane and Eulalie were an integral part of the Marigny family and Eulalie was rightfully viewed and raised as a daughter in the household. Pierre’s mother, Madame de Mandeville, was very close to Eulalie, and supervised her courtship with Eugene McCarty, of the wealthy white McCarty family, who eventually became her husband. Eulalie is an excellent representative of the wealth and power that drove these women to create such rich and prosperous lives." More>>
See Also: Meeting Eulalie>>

Preservation and Social Justice: Danielle Del Sol Ushers in New Era as Director of the PRC

Interim director Jack Davis announced that Danielle Del Sol, 34, has has been chosen as the new head of the 44-year-old Preservation Resource Center after longtime director Patty Gay retired last year. Del Sol worked for the PRC for seven years, first as assistant editor and then as editor of its award-winning Preservation in Print magazine. A Miami native, she has a master's degree in preservation studies from the Tulane University School of Architecture and is also an adjunct lecturer at Tulane. On accepting the position, she said she looked forward to helping New Orleans residents view "preservation in a new light." Anyone wondering what that might mean would do well to read Del Sol's inspiring essay,  Preservation Becomes Social Justice: Storytelling and Writing, published last year by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. On this city's 300th anniversary, Del Sol joins a promising new generation the helm of local cultural institutions including Nick Stillman at the New Orleans Arts Council and Miranda Restovic at the Louisiana Council for the Humanities, leaders blessed with energy and vision in abundance.  

Designing Pandemonium:

An Art History of Mardi Gras 
by D. Eric Bookhardt 

Societe de Ste Anne Procession (circa 1982)

Krewe of Zulu: Noblesse Oblige

Mardi Gras has always involved a  synergistic alignment of the mainstream and the esoteric, the street and the elite, the Apollonian and the Dionysian although, of course, the latter  has always held the advantage. Forver skirting the margins of the forbidden, it has eternally been  propelled by the elusive spirits of creative anarchy that ultimately hark to its origins in the myths and mysteries of pre-Christian antiquity. More>>

Bror Anders Wikstrom: Proteus Float Design, 1907

Meeting Eulalie: A Look at the Extraordinary Life and Times of Eulalie de Mandeville

by Casey Ruble

In 1774, a child was born to an enslaved mother and the largest white landowner in Louisiana. Emancipated at age five by her grandfather for “the good services received from her mother” and “the love and affection I have for one born in my household,” she was raised by the aristocratic Mandeville de Marigny family. She went on to become one of the wealthiest free women of color in New Orleans. Her name was Eulalie. More>>