BATON ROUGE, La (press release) – Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area (ANHA) announce the 13 grant recipients from the fall 2020 ANHA Grant cycle. The ANHA Grant Program, funded through the National Park Service, is distributing $122,515.44 in grant funds to promote environmental, recreational, and cultural heritage assets in the area. This grant provides matching funds assistance through reimbursement. The recipient, therefore, must provide proof of payment for 100% of eligible expenses when submitting a request for reimbursement.

“In Louisiana, we celebrate our culture like nowhere else in the country. And, you can get firsthand experience of some of that culture in the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “Through these grants, our basin communities will be able to better tell the stories of their culture, authentic and real stories that will Feed Your Soul. Through these 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 goal of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area is to preserve and promote the cultural, natural and recreational resources of the 14 parishes that encompass the Atchafalaya Basin. Grant awardees must prove projects meet this vision through cultural event showcases, heritage interpretation efforts, and natural or recreational improvements. Criteria include project feasibility, sustainability and creativity.

The fall 2020 ANHA Grant Awardees include:

 

RecipientParishGrant AmountProject Description
Town of WashingtonSt. Landry$2,550Work with local partner to redevelop a vacant lot across from town hall into a community garden and green space called Ethel Park
Swamp BaseSt. Martin$14,000Expand swamp education program by adding floating campsites for overnight stays
Bayou Teche MuseumIberia$1,000Inclusion of text panels telling the story of the impact enslaved labor played in the growth and expansion of the sugar industry
Atchafalaya BasinkeeperIberville$10,000Create a series of microfilms bringing awareness to the Atchafalaya Basin and presented at film festivals & schools as educational presentations
BRECEast Baton Rouge$10,000Initiate and expand education content focusing on awareness, engagement, and stewardship of waterways in East Baton Rouge Parish
Association for the Liberty TheatreSt. Landry$10,000Develop a business plan to initiate strategies to renew the historic Liberty Theatre as a center for culture, performance, and community pride
Iberia Cultural Resources AssociationIberia$5,000The Books Along the Teche Literary Festival honors Southern storytellers and writers who write about the South or celebrate Southern themes and places. The celebration will include music, food, tours and interpretive demonstrations unique to Iberia Parish and South Louisiana.
The TECHE ProjectSt. Martin$465.44Design handouts and marketing materials to promote the Bayou Teche National Paddle Trail, including maps and information about the paddle trail
Wedell-Williams and Cypress Sawmill Memorial FoundationSt. Mary$12,000Develop interactive platform called Atchafalaya Cypress: A Digital History of the Cypress Industry in the Basin to document and preserve the history and culture of the cypress industry featuring primary sources, narrative text, historical photographs, and maps.
Baton Rouge Blues Festival & FoundationEast Baton Rouge$5,000Promote, preserve, and propel Louisiana Blues music by promoting blues musicians both from Louisiana or inspired by the roots music of Louisiana. The 2021 festival will include and online series to reach a larger audience.
Louisiana Consortium of Immersion SchoolsLafayette$30,000Louisiana Virtual Immersion will create innovative, educational and audiovisual resources promoting the state’s cultural and environmental landmarks along with linguistic and cultural heritage, including lessons and animated videos for French Immersion schools.
City of New IberiaIberia$10,000Develop a wayfinding sign system connecting historic and cultural districts to tell the full history and story of the city of New Iberia
River Road African American MuseumAscension$12,500Freedom Garden enhancement and Rosenwald Edible Landscape project to include ten, new, raised text panels telling the story of native plants and teaching about the history of Louisiana’s Underground Railroad

 

 

“The cultural story of south-central Louisiana comes from a diverse tapestry of people, places and traditions. ANHA is excited to provide funding this year for over a dozen projects that protect and enhance what makes our home so special,” said Justin Lemoine, Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Executive Director.

The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area will run its next grant cycle in spring 2021. To learn more about the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, visit the newly redesigned www.atchafalaya.org. For more information and updates, visit the ANHA Grant Program webpage.