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Thursday, February 9 • 10:00am - 11:30am
Tour: Backstreet Cultural Museum

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The Backstreet Cultural Museum officially opened its doors in 1999. However, its origins can be traced back three decades to when Sylvester Francis paraded with the Gentlemen of Leisure Social Aid & Pleasure Club.  A man photographing the parade wanted Francis to pay $35.00 for his own photograph. To avoid such costs in the future, Francis bought both a Super 8 mm camera and a still camera and began documenting Carnival celebrations, second-line parades,  and jazz funerals throughout New Orleans. 

Today, the Backstreet Cultural Museum holds the world’s most comprehensive collection related to New Orleans’ African American community-based masking and processional traditions, including Mardi Gras Indians, jazz funerals, social aid and pleasure clubs, Baby Dolls, and Skull and Bone gangs. The museum’s filmed records of over 500 events constitute the most cohesive archive documenting these cultural traditions.  In addition to its permanent exhibits, the Backstreet Cultural Museum hosts public performances of music and dance, provides outreach programs, and creates an annual book, Keeping Jazz Funerals Alive, that chronicles the year’s jazz funerals.

The Backstreet Cultural Museum is a pillar in the Tremé community where second-line parades begin and end, the North Side Skull and Bone Gang and Mardi Gras Indians congregate on Mardi Gras day, and schoolchildren identify family members in the photographs on the wall. The museum is active in Tremé and promotes art and culture as important to the neighborhood’s identity and future.

Tour participants should meet on the first level across from the bank of elevators, in front of the Spirits bar. Please be early, as tours will leave on time. Look for the tour leader’s purple Mardi Gras hat.

Max participants 40

Fee: $40 (includes transportation)


Thursday February 9, 2017 10:00am - 11:30am
Meet in hotel lobby (First Level, next to Spirits Bar)

Attendees (7)