64 Parishes

Introducing Louisiana Musical Legends

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is proud to announce a new initiative developing and showcasing new and engaging tools for teaching core curriculum concepts through the lens of Louisiana’s culture. “Aunt Dorothy’s Teacher Toolkits” are made possible through the generous support of Dorothy Hanna, who as a retired schoolteacher herself knows the value of top-notch materials for the classroom. In partnership with First Lady of Louisiana Donna Edwards and the nine regional arts councils, the LEH held a statewide lesson plan contest open to teachers across the state, inviting them to build on existing Common Core curricula and themes from the lives of Louisiana’s greatest musicians, both past and contemporary. The winning teachers each received $1,000, and their lesson plans will undergo development in partnership with the LEH and curriculum development professionals. After this development process, the lesson plans will be distributed on 64parishes.org, along with original videos on each musician designed to promote conversation in the classroom.

Videos and lesson plans will become available on 64parishes.org on a rolling basis beginning this winter. Highlights will include using the drumming of Luther Gray and Bamboula 2000 to teach second graders about the complex legacy of Congo Square; exploring tone, mood, and theme in Leadbelly’s original songs and later cover versions with eighth graders; and leading high-school art students through the historic architecture of Lake Charles’s Nellie Lutcher Historical District. Other educational adventures will reference the work of Tony Joe White, Amanda Shaw, Susan Aysen, Kenny Neal, Little Walter, and Nathan Williams, Jr. We look forward to sharing these new resources with Louisiana’s teachers, and thank our partners for their hard work and dedication in making this initiative a reality.

Congratulations to our winning teachers!

New Orleans Arts Council: Diana Turner, Bricolage Academy (New Orleans)

Bayou Regional Arts Council: Rebecca Holmes, Emily C. Watkins Elementary (LaPlace)

Acadiana Center for the Arts: Barbara Helveston, Edgar Martin Middle School (Lafayette)

Southwest Louisiana Arts Council: Julie Groth, Sam Houston High School (Lake Charles)

Shreveport Regional Arts Council: Hallie Franks, St. Joseph Catholic School (Shreveport)

Northeast Louisiana Arts Council: Andrew Price, West Ouachita High School (West Monroe)

St. Tammany Arts Association: Kelly Stomps, Woodlake Elementary School (Mandeville)