Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Announces More than $150,000 in Competitive Grants
BATON ROUGE, La (press release) – Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area (ANHA) announce the 2022 Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Competitive Grant awardees. The 17 projects represent 10 of the 14 ANHA parishes. These projects will advance the mission of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area through cultural, recreational or natural resource preservation and enhancement.
“The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area encourages entrepreneurship that captures everything about Louisiana that Feeds Your Soul – tradition, customs, beliefs, and folklore to name a few,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “We are grateful to help our basin communities interpret the culture of this special place for our residents, visitors, and people all around the world. The goal of the ANHA grant program is the further building of an understanding of the area’s key stories, strengthening the sense of place, supporting a healthier ecosystem, and expanding economic opportunities for the Atchafalaya Basin. Through their stories we can learn of the evolution of this rich blend of cultures, traditions, and lifeways that have created this special place known as the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.”
The 2022 grant cycle saw an increase in applications and parish participation, as well as a broader 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 $159,720 in funds to the 17 projects.
The 2022 ANHA Grant Awardees include:
|Recipient||Parish||Grant Amount||Project Description|
|Louisiana Alligator Snapping Turtle Foundation||Ascension||$15,000||The Alligator Snapping Turtle Breeding Project for Conservation is a natural flowing water project to prevent bacteria build up in the housing tubs, allowing the hatchlings to live in natural water before release into the wild.|
|Friends of Bayou Lafourche||Assumption||$20,000||The Friends of Bayou Lafourche will create the Napoleonville Multi-Trail Connection tying Bayou Lafourche to the surrounding community of Napoleonville.|
|Pierre Part Belle River Museum||Assumption||$10,000||The intent of the Pierre Part Belle River Museum is to present and preserve the Cajun French culture, which has grown and evolved for over three centuries in the Atchafalaya Basin. Phase 2 will provide a conceptual design, including costs, goals for fundraising, and a visual presentation, that will enable the board to make key strategic decisions.|
|Avoyelles Parish Tourism Commission||Avoyelles||$3,200||Situated along Highway 1, Avoyelles Parish is a popular destination for bicyclists interested in seeing Louisiana’s landscape through a unique point of view. New Bicycle Repair Stations will provide a small service for these bicyclists who have decided to visit and encourage them to economically engage with communities located in the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.|
|LSU Department of Entomology||East Baton Rouge||$15,000||The Giant Salvinia Biocontrol Program hopes to restore an unused greenhouse facility at the LSU Aquaculture Research Station. This greenhouse will allow researchers to maintain viable overwinter populations of the salvinia weevil. By being able to offer salvinia weevils earlier in the year, agencies and landowners can start to control the giant salvinia before the plant can establish itself in the Atchafalaya Basin’s waterways each spring.|
|Acadiana Center for the Arts||Lafayette / Multiple||$10,000||ACA aims to strengthen the region’s creative economy by increasing access to programs for Atchafalaya-based creators. The ACA will target communities within their eight-parish service region which also fall within ANHA boundaries, including St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, and Iberia parishes. This project will leverage ACA’s existing expertise and increase access to their high-quality programs to four additional parishes within the ANHA region.|
|Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL)||Lafayette||$9,000||Héritier means ‘heir,’ and through the The KRVS Héritier Project CODOFIL wants to revive this role in south Louisiana’s media landscape. Héritier funding will allow the program to energetically relaunch with a Louisiana French-speaking host who will not only record live but also produce shows that go beyond music. Regular segments will focus on French and Creole revival and engagement with younger generations.|
|Louisiane-Acadie Grand Réveil Acadien||Lafayette / Multiple||$10,000||The Great Acadian Awakening/Grand Réveil Acadien (GRA) is a multi-parish event held over nine days celebrating the lasting impact of the ANHA’s Acadian/Cajun people on Louisiana history and culture. GRA encourages people from around the world to cherish the Acadian and Cajun lifestyles through shared memories, the French language, food, music and history.|
|Transportation Recreation Alternatives in Louisiana||Lafayette||$15,000||The Atakapas-Ishak Trail will be a destination for travelers much like the Tammany Trace, Erie Canal Trail, Katy Trail, and other parks and paths. People will be able to safely cycle, run, or walk without interference from vehicles around the Lafayette airport near Vermilionville.|
|True Friends Society of Lafayette||Lafayette||$3,500||The Freetown Black Heritage Trail, Maison Creole de Freetown Virtual Heritage Tour, is both a virtual tour and a 1.5-mile walk through the heart of Lafayette’s Historically registered Freetown neighborhood. Signage along the trail will showcase residences, places of interest, and community buildings associated with this Black community that thrived before, during, and after the American Civil War.|
|University of Louisiana at Lafayette||Lafayette||$7,500||The Center for Louisiana Studies is dedicated to researching, publicizing, promoting, and preserving Louisiana’s cultures and history. Given the increased visibility and upcoming opportunities to engage with the public, outside assistance is needed to develop a strategic plan for the future of the Center for Louisiana Studies. Funds will begin the first stage of the plan: the “Discovery” portion.|
|Arts Council of Pointe Coupee||Pointe Coupee||$1,500||Treasures of Pointe Coupee 2023 will be a six-day exhibit of two- and three-dimensional art submitted by local and regional artists at the Poydras Center in New Roads.|
|Louisiana Folk Roots, Inc.||St. Landry||$7,500||Imagine days filled with learning about Louisiana music, nature, dance, language, food, and people. That’s Balfa Camp. During 2022-2023, Louisiana Folk Roots (LFR) will revive its foundational program, the Balfa Cajun & Creole Heritage Music Camp, to engage Louisiana’s cultural enthusiasts from around the world.|
|Opelousas Museum and Interpretive Center||St. Landry||$7,500||Free People of Color in St. Landry Parish shaped the culture, economy and other aspects of St. Landry Parish pre-Civil War. This population was socially and politically caught in between: they were denied the freedom of whites, and feared enslavement – the fate of so many Blacks. The museum will install a permanent exhibit that interprets the social impact of Free People of Color in this region.|
|Saint Luc French Immersion & Cultural Campus||St. Landry||$11,520||Completion of infrastructure projects allowing the St. Luc Campus to be ADA compliant, meeting Fire Marshal requirements. The organization can then offer French classes in hospitality in the fall and host events such as a monthly French Table and Genealogy class.|
|City of Morgan City||St. Mary||$3,500||The city of Morgan City is looking to implement a self-guided walking tour via an app of various areas throughout the city, with the first tour focused on the historic downtown area.|
|South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center||Terrebonne||$10,000||The Rougarou Fest is a free, family-friendly festival with a spooky flair that celebrates the rich folklore that exists along the bayous of the Atchafalaya basin. Since 2012, it has showcased live music, cultural activities, children’s games, Cajun food, the Krewe Ga Rou parade, a costume contest, live demonstrations, and so much more.|
The ANHA and the National Park Service are proud to provide funding to local champions working to create powerful connections between people, culture and the environment. These grantees are instrumental in ensuring that what makes South Louisiana authentic and unique will be appreciated and passed on 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 2022 Small Fund Grantees are:
- Iberia Cultural Resources Association: 7th Annual Books Along the Teche Literary Festival
- Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival: Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival
- Cajun Coast VCB: Atchafalaya Appreciation Days
- St. Martinville Garden Club: Walk with Evangeline
- Baton Rouge Blues Festival and Foundation: Baton Rouge Blues Festival
- Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge: Baton Rouge Poet Laureate – Kouri-Vini Heritage
Small fund grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Visit the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Grant Program webpage for updates and more information.