Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Announces 2021 Competitive Grant Recipients

052021 Updated Atchafalaya Release Header


BATON ROUGE, La (press release) – Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area (ANHA) announce the 2021 Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Competitive Grant awardees. The 23 projects represent 10 of the 14 ANHA parishes. The projects are designed to advance the mission of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area through cultural, recreational or natural resource preservation and enhancement.

“The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area tells the stories that celebrate the rich culture of much of our state. These grants encourage the entrepreneurship and creativity which capture everything about this diverse area that will Feed Your Soul such as customs, traditions, beliefs, and folklore to name a few,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area is one of our state’s most popular attractions for visitors. The projects represented here will help further the mission of the area as we start to welcome family, friends, and visitors back to Louisiana.”

The 2021 grant cycle saw an increase in applications and parish participation, as well as a diversity in project type. A grant review panel comprised of art, culture and economic development representatives selected projects to fund based on project feasibility, sustainability and creativity. Through funding from the National Park Service, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area will grant $162,429 in funds to the 23 projects.


The 2021 ANHA Grant Awardees include:


Recipient Parish Grant Amount Project Description
Acadian Heritage and Culture Foundation, Inc. Iberia $2,500 The New Acadia Project aims to locate the original settlement of the first Acadians. The project will enhance Acadian cultural interpretation, cultural awareness, heritage conservation and the cultural economics of the Atchafalaya and Bayou Teche regions.
The TECHE Project St. Martin $2,500 The 10th annual Shake Your Trail Feather Festival is a celebration of the Bayou Teche National Paddle Trail, the only National Water Trail in Louisiana. With a planned paddle trip, food and music, the festival celebrates the unique recreational, cultural and economic values around the Bayou Teche.
City of Opelousas Tourism St. Landry $3,035 Since 1988, Le Vieux Village has welcomed thousands of visitors, free of charge, to learn about architecture, stories and artifacts related to Opelousas’ history. The project will install signage detailing native plants and trees located in the village’s Heritage Park, a major cultural attraction in Opelousas.
Cajun Coast CVB St. Mary $3,500 Interpretive panels around the Cajun Coast Welcome Center will detail native flora and fauna around the building, which is located on a levee and borders a cypress tupelo swamp.
Cajun Coast CVB St. Mary $3,500 The Wings to Soar Program, part of Eagle Expo and more, is a unique educational experience where students can get up close and personal with birds and raptors found around the heritage area. The program also encourages environmental conservation through education.
West Baton Rouge Museum West Baton Rouge $7,000 SugarFest is an annual celebration of the sugar cane harvest in West Baton Rouge. The event celebrates this economic driver through exhibits, sweet treats, craft demonstrations from folk artists, and local music including Cajun and Zydeco.
The Regional Military Museum Terrebonne $7,500 Many South Louisianans who served in WWII used their knowledge of Cajun French to act as translators overseas. The project will document interviews with these veterans and share their stories through a podcast.
City of Morgan City St. Mary $7,304 The project will create a cohesive network of designated bike trails connecting Morgan City and Berwick, two Atchafalaya National Heritage Area towns home to historic and cultural districts. It will encourage recreation and access to the natural resources of the heritage area through subdivision connected bike trails.
Berwick Heritage Museum St. Mary $7,500 This project is designed to continue the research of the Berwick area dating from the founding in the late 1700s to present day. It includes the creation of exhibits and educational materials for children five and up detailing the history of the town.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette St. Landry $5,000 Architecture students, working with community cultural partners, will build a unique, dynamic house with experimental materials that, upon completion, will serve an artist-in-residence program in St. Landry Parish.
Louisiana Swamp Base, Inc. St. Martin $15,000 Swamp Base is providing students K-12 with the opportunity to participate in an immersive swamp education trip. The project will specifically work with parish superintendents to identify and reach underserved communities to expose students to a unique experience.
Iberia Cultural Resources Association Iberia $5,000 The Books Along the Teche Literary Festival is a multi-day event featuring the writers, literature and culture of the South, centered in the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area. The celebration includes food, music, talks with writers, walking tours of downtown New Iberia and a boat tour.
Friends of the Chauvin Sculpture Garden c/o Nicholls Foundation Terrebonne $10,000 The project will increase access to the Chauvin Sculpture Garden, a unique cultural attraction on Bayou Petit Caillou. It includes improved accesses for wheelchairs and the replacement of several benches to allow programmed cultural activities on site.
Downtown Development District East Baton Rouge $12,500 The Mississippi Riverfront in Downtown Baton Rouge is used by thousands of people each year for events and recreation, and serves as a welcome point for river cruise passengers from all over the world. The project includes the design, fabrication and installation of interpretive signage detailing the story of water in and around Baton Rouge.
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe Avoyelles $9,000 The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe is hosting an inter-tribal basketry summit highlight the traditions of the Tunica-Biloxi, Coushatta, Alabama-Coushatta, Jena Choctaw, Clifton Choctaw, Chitimacha, Houma, Mississippi Choctaw, Bayou Lacombe Choctaw and Poarch Creek Indians. It is an opportunity for Atchafalaya-region cultures to connect over creative folk traditions.
City of New Iberia Iberia $15,000 The City of New Iberia is converting a vacant restroom building to a community space for events and activities. The project offers a unique opportunity to showcase the culture of the heritage area through interpretive panels in one of the city’s most utilized public spaces.
Bayou Pigeon Heritage Association Iberville $15,000 The Bayou Pigeon Heritage Association is converting a former church, now called Heritage Hall, into an interpretive center, detailing the history of this French-speaking community. The facility will also host community cultural events and recreation opportunities for residents of all ages.
Lafayette Museum Lafayette $7,600 The Lafayette Museum is updating its welcome video to include French and Spanish-language versions. The project will attract international visitors and enhance educational opportunities for locals.
Atelier de la Nature St. Martin $3,500 Atelier de la Nature is hosting the Halloween Art & Nature Festival, a free one-day family-friendly festival that celebrates Halloween and Louisiana’s special natural surroundings through art, music, food and science.
Louisiana Crafts Guild Lafayette $2,500 The Louisiana Crafts Guild hosts a monthly art and handmade market. The project will expand the event by including craft demonstrations and local music.
McComb-Veazey Neighborhood Lafayette $2,500 The McComb-Veazey Festival is a cultural event that celebrates and pays tribute to the music legends and artists that came from the historic McComb-Veazey Neighborhood in Lafayette.
Louisiana Consortium of Immersion Schools St. Landry $10,000 LCIS is working on the second phase of an educational media project promoting Louisiana’s cultural and environmental landmarks through French-language videos and cartoons.
Spring Bayou Restoration Team Avoyelles $5,490 The Spring Bayou Restoration Team is adding three kayak launches to the existing floating docks along the kayak route in the Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area. The project encourages recreation and appreciation for natural resources.


The ANHA and the National Park Service are proud to provide funding to people and places doing the hard work of promoting and conserving the heritage resources of our region.  These grantees are instrumental in ensuring that what makes South Louisiana unique will be appreciated and our stories told for generations to come.

In addition to the ANHA Competitive Grant, the ANHA Small Fund Grants provide funding for smaller projects related to cultural continuity, community engagement, and natural and recreational resources improvements. The 2021 Small Fund Grantees awarded thus far are:


  • David Armentor, Taste and See Art Exhibition
  • Martha Garner, Festival of Words
  • St. Martin Parish Tourism, Atchafalaya Stories
  • Steamboat City Association, Historic Washington Tour
  • Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival, 86th Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival
  • Preservation Alliance of Lafayette, Azalea Society of America Convention
  • Arts & Humanities Council for Avoyelles, Murder on the Atchafalaya storytelling event
  • Bayou des Glaises Cultural District, Cultural Heritage Tour Video Development
  • Baton Rouge Blues Festival and Foundation, Blues Backstage at BR Blues Festival


ANHA’s competitive grant cycle will reopen in May 2022. Small fund grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Visit ANHA Grant Program webpage for updates and more information. To learn more about the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, visit the newly redesigned



Categories: Lagniappe