Source: Office of the Lt. Gov.
Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser is proud to announce October 2020 as Folklife Month in Louisiana. This year marks the sixth annual celebration of the state’s living traditions and the individuals who sustain them. Organized by the Louisiana Folklife Commission, in partnership with the Louisiana Folklore Society, six tradition bearers will be honored. Selected by local folklorists and other cultural workers, the recipients share a record of continuing and exceptional accomplishment in perpetuating the state’s traditional cultures.
Folklife Month showcases diverse persons and groups from across the state, and often from overlooked cultural communities. The month-long program also increases appreciation for the vital role folklorists play in sustaining Louisiana’s folkways.
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser emphasized the importance of the initiative saying, “Folklife Month is a time for us to celebrate our traditions and honor our culture. Each of our traditions trace back to our ancestors, and without that, we would not have the identity we have today.”
Among the tradition bearers is Katrice LaCour, Zydeco musician in Natchitoches. Multi-instrumentalist Katrice LaCour leads a zydeco trio that plays with the goal of bringing the distinctive musical sounds of the state’s southwest parishes to north Louisiana audiences. Also featuring Rainey LaCour and Denver Shoup, The LaCour Trio plays a mixture of old-school zydeco, Creole La La music, and R&B zydeco, appealing to both seasoned zydeco lovers as well as those new to the genre. LaCour’s passion for zydeco stems from the French Creole culture that shaped his upbringing in the Cane River town of Cloutierville.
Aside from playing professionally, LaCour shares his love and knowledge of music with younger generations, teaching orchestra for the past 11 years at the Northwestern State University Elementary/Middle Lab School. LaCour’s students have received statewide and national recognition, and the orchestra, one of the largest orchestra’s in Louisiana, performed in 2019 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. “Every culture is unique and passing that along to others is the best way to keep it alive. Whether it is stories shared from generation to generation, or a way of life, that’s what makes French Creole traditions worth saving,” said LaCour.
A project of the Louisiana Folklife Commission in collaboration with the Louisiana Folklore Society and numerous community partners, Louisiana Folklife Month is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.
Due to the pandemic, plans for Louisiana Folklife Month events remain uncertain. For more information about Louisiana Folklife Month and the effects the COVID-19 pandemic may have on events, please visit LouisianaFolklife.org.