Louisiana Folklife

Louisiana Folklife Home 2021-10-06T15:23:42+00:00

Elvin Shields To Be Recognized as a Louisiana Tradition Bearer

Twisted wire sculptor Elvin Shields will be named a Louisiana Tradition Bearer by the Louisiana Folklife Commission and honored at a ceremony October 16 at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum. Serving as a Folklife Ambassador for the Louisiana Folklife Commission, Dr. Shane Rasmussen, professor of English and director of the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University, will talk with Shields about his lifetime of preserving Louisiana’s traditional folklife. The event is free and open to the general public.

Elvin L. Shields is a twisted wire toy maker from the Cane River plantations. As a child of sharecroppers, he started making toys at the age of 5. He left the plantation in 1967 after high school graduation and joined the Army for a 4-year tour of duty. He returned to Natchitoches after retiring as a mechanical engineer with 32 years of experience. He then became a volunteer for the U.S. Park Service at Oakland Plantation where he teaches young people the art of toy making. He also speaks to Park visitors about growing up as a child of sharecroppers. In 2012 he restored his childhood 1860 slave cabin at Oakland Plantation as a sharecropper’s museum. Since 2013 he has participated in the Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival and the Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival. He is a member of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) and past president of the Natchitoches Genealogical & Historical Association (NGHA).

The ceremony and discussion are part of a series of events throughout the state for Folklife Month in Louisiana. The event is sponsored by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, the Louisiana Folklife Center, the Louisiana Folklore Society, and the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. Funding is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works, and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, in collaboration with the Louisiana Folklife Commission.

For more information, call the Louisiana Folklife Center at (318) 357-4332, or email at either folklife@nsula.edu, or louisianafolklife@nsula.edu.

13th Annual Louisiana Studies Conference
September 25, 2021

13th Annual Louisiana Studies Conference Program
Access the conference program and live presentation sessions for free at www.nsula.edu/LSC13

Registration fee for Conference presenters: $50.00. Registration fees can be paid in one of the following ways:

Online at https://commerce.cashnet.com/LSCWEB.

Check (payable to Louisiana Folklife Center)

Please send payment to:

Dr. Shane Rasmussen, Director
Louisiana Folklife Center
NSU Box 3663
Natchitoches, LA 71497

For more information contact: Dr. Shane Rasmussen, Conference Co-chair, Phone: (318) 357-4332, Fax: (318) 357-4331, rasmussens@nsula.edu

Due to the ongoing pandemic NSU will not be able to hold the Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival as a face-to-face event in Prather Coliseum in July 2021. However, the Natchitoches-NSU Virtual Festival can be found on YouTube at nsu.la/FolkFest. This online festival includes free videos of performances by music groups such as Rusty Metoyer & The Zydeco Krush, the LaCour Trio, Ron Yule and Friends, the Yvette Landry Trio, Soul Creole, and a virtual Cajun fiddle workshop with Wilson Savoy and Chris Segura of the Pine Leaf Boys as well as interviews with folk artists such as Juanita Leonard and Roy Parfait!

Natchitoches NSU Folk Festival

NSU Folklife Concert Series to be held at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum

The Louisiana Folklife Center is excited to announce the 2021 NSU Folklife Concert Series. Concerts will be held on six Saturdays in July and August. Highlighting different folk musical traditions, each concert will include a 45-minute music set followed by interviews with the musicians and an audience Q&A. Each performance will take place at 2:00 p.m. at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum at 800 Front Street in downtown Natchitoches. The concert series is free and open to the general public.

The series will kick off on July 3 with Cajun music by Amanda Shaw. Zydeco artist Corey Ledet will perform on July 17. Singer-songwriter ensemble Smithfield Fair will perform on July 24. The Yvette Landry Trio will perform Cajun and classic country on July 31. San Antonio, Texas rock artist Nina Diaz will perform on August 7. Rounding out the series, Blato Zlato (“Swamp Gold” in Bulgarian) will perform Balkan music from New Orleans and Bulgaria on August 14. In addition to the music performances, 2-3 folk artists will demonstrate and sell traditional crafts on each day of the series.

Support for the NSU Folklife Concert Series is provided by grants from the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. and the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission.

For more information, call the Louisiana Folklife Center at (318) 357-4332 or email folklife@nsula.edu.