Note de l’editeur

Inspiration, I’ve learned, can come from just about any person, place or thing and at just about any time. As a writer and artist, I turn to the greats in my fields, such as writers Kate Chopin and Ernest Hemingway or photographers Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and William Christenberry (who also was a painter and sculptor). Spiritually, I look toward contemporary leaders, including Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama. My parents, grandparents, other family members, friends and teachers have of course inspired and influenced me in 1,000 different ways and probably more so than any of the aforementioned more well-known people. As much as it behooves and moves us to have someone at the top of their industry or craft to look up to, those closest to us both personally and geographically will likely always have the greatest, most direct impact on our lives. Which is one of the many reasons I’m excited to introduce a new annual offering — Acadiana Profile’s Trailblazers.

Over the past several months, we’ve talked to everyone we know and explored the region in search of Acadianians who are making a big impact in their industries, communities and, perhaps, even the country or the world. Each one is making a difference in their respective areas and inspiring the people around them day in and day out with their passion, drive and talent. Reading their profiles not only left me feeling better about Acadiana, to be sure, but also, better about life in general. To say that we live in troubling and sometimes downright confusing times is an understatement, but knowing there are people out there like our inaugural class of Trailblazers gives me hope for the future and, thankfully, the present.

My hope is that with this installment — and each year when we find new people to celebrate — we’ll all be reminded to look directly around ourselves for those folks we can look up to, seek out for wisdom and inspiration, and to thank for their hard work and dedication. On that note, thank you to the 2019 Acadiana Profile Trailblazers. We loved learning your stories and are thrilled to share them with our readers.




The fourth annual Books Along the Teche Literary Festival in New Iberia is April 5-7 and celebrates the impact of literature on the region with readings, jazz cocktail parties, a book fair and panel discussions. Satisfy Cajun cuisine cravings with a seafood cooking demonstration and local food vendors. On Saturday, get tickets for the symposium with featured speaker Rebecca Wells, author of the celebrated Southern story, “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.”

Seize the Day!

Downtown Lafayette espresso and gelato bar, Carpe Diem recently expanded its offerings and got a new look. As reported in The Current, the shop — which was purchased by the owners of nearby Pamplona Tapas Bar — now has a liquor license and changed its name to one better suited to its more mature menu ­— Carpe Diem Café & Wine Bar. Mornings at the newly renovated Carpe Diem include pastries and fresh Cuvée Coffee from Austin, while a later crowd can enjoy desserts and a glass of red and white wine or champagne before or after dinner. The café is expanding its hours opening at 7 a.m. on weekdays and closing at 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Compiled by Alice Phillips

Contact Melanie  /  504-830-1380.