Students earn Bailey Scholarships for preservation initiatives


NATCHITOCHES – The Natchitoches Historic Foundation named Ariel Bailey of Natchitoches and Molly Dickerson of Melrose as recipients of the Mildred Hart Bailey Memorial Scholarship for the 2017-18 academic year. The scholarship is awarded to master’s degree candidates or to junior or senior level undergraduate students in disciplines that advance the Foundation’s mission of preservation, education and advocacy.


Bailey is a sophomore in NSU’s Louisiana Scholars’ College.  She is no relation to Dr. Mildred Hart Bailey. Her project will involve the preservation of the Dr. Mildred Bailey’s interviews with renowned local folk artist Clementine Hunter, which will involve the digitization and editing of the Clementine Hunter videos and audio tracks that were taped and recorded by Dr. Bailey.  The full extent of the project will also include creating a website to allow public access to the information.


“As an art major, I feel that the further preservation of Clementine Hunter’s work and life story is a big step in preserving the history of Natchitoches,” Ariel Bailey said.  “Clementine Hunter was a true milestone in the representation of folk art in a world that had been dominated by the fine arts for centuries.  The story of Clementine Hunter is, to me, one that truly shows that an artist can be anyone around us and that you don’t have to be born with a talent to be able to create masterpieces.”


Dickerson is a non-traditional student majoring in history.  Her project will focus on assessing the condition of gravestones in a portion of the American Cemetery.


“As a building preservationist, I feel the architecture beautifully tells of that history.  I consider it an honor to work to preserve the stories contained within the structures for future generations to learn from,” Dickerson said.


Recipients of the scholarship have a demonstrated interest in historic preservation and interpretation that may encompass physical restoration of historic properties, written and/or oral recordings, cataloging, research, facilities management of historic preservation standards as established by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Register of Historic Places, archaeology and promotion and/or preservation of historic properties for tourism.


Recipients must complete the agreed upon project within one school year, culminating at the conclusion of the project in a deliverable defined in the initial written Scope of Work. The recipient will also serve as a non-voting student representative on the NHF Board, attending Board meetings and taking part in NHF activities and be mentored by an NHF Board member.


The Natchitoches Historic Foundation established the Mildred Hart Bailey Memorial Scholarship in 2004 with a $10,000 endowment to honor the memory of Dr. Bailey, a charter member of NHF who was noted for her interest in and support of preservation in Natchitoches Parish, as a philanthropist, and as both a collector of and advocate for the art of Clementine Hunter.


More information about the Dr. Mildred Hart Bailey Memorial Scholarship is available by contacting NHF Vice President Karen Townsend at (318) 663-3227. Information on the NHF is available at

Ariel Bailey of Natchitoches and Molly Dickerson of Melrose are this year’s recipients of the Mildred Hart Bailey Memorial Scholarship presented by the Natchitoches Historic Foundation. Recipients receive support to complete projects that advance the Foundation’s mission of preservation, education and advocacy. From left are NHF Vice President (Projects) Karen Townsend, NSU Development Officer Brittany McConathy, Dickerson, NHF President Cathy Seymour and Bailey.