FestiGals Takes the Stage
When it’s all for a good cause
Photos by Linda Bjork, Alexei Kazantsev, Riverview Photography and Frank Stansbury
I have always thought of FestiGals as a fun weekend for a “girl’s night out,” but I now understand that it’s so much more than that! The month of July is very slow in the city as far as tourism goes, but FestiGals has changed all that, bringing about 2,200 women from all over the country to New Orleans to partake of inspirational seminars, including “Conversations with Leah Chase” and Sallie Ann Glassman’s “From My Spirits to Yours,” just to name two. July 28-30 at the J.W. Marriott Hotel there will be networking opportunities and lots of fun, but most importantly, the event will give financial support to two important nonprofits.
FestiGals supports the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans’ Breastoration, which provides support services to women during cancer treatments and recovery with the “Bodacious Bras for a Cause Luncheon.” The “Stiletto Stroll” Pre-Party, Second-Line Parade and After Glow Party at Mardi Gras World with Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. will benefit the New Orleans Family Justice Center, which helps victims of domestic violence. You really want to attend this weekend as a local, to meet women from all over the country and tell them what a treasure we have here in our city.
Those who get to attend Leah Chase’s seminar will be regaled by her stories of the civil rights movement in New Orleans, and how Dooky Chase Restaurant was the meeting place for blacks and whites in the city to discuss change and make it peaceful. It was against the law for blacks and whites to eat together, so Leah and Dooky Chase broke the law – serving gumbo and fried chicken to their guests. The police at the time, who were all white, looked the other way. Not only is Leah Chase the Queen of Creole cooking, but she recently received the Lifetime Achievement award from the James Beard Society!
Visit FestiGals.org to learn more and sign up for its events.
Top Left, Leah Chase; Top Right, Sallie Ann Glassman