November 16, 2020
New Orleans, La. – Today the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), the National Park Service, and Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve announced a new collaborative documentary project, Bayous & Backroads: A Look Inside Louisiana’s Lifeways. This new series of short documentary films follows Cajun musicians and cultural advocates Joel Savoy and Jo Vidrine as they journey through the region’s cherished traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.
The first episode, “Crawfish Country,” premiered today on the NCTA’s YouTube channel, as well as Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve’s Facebook page. The film introduces one of Louisiana’s largest and most distinctive foodways: crawfish. From farming and harvesting crawfish in rice fields to backyard boils, processing plants, and families gathering around a dinner of crawfish étouffée, crawfish is a lifestyle that takes many forms. The second episode, “Big Boudin,” will premiere next Monday, November 23. “Big Boudin” explores traditional meat processing for sustenance in rural Louisiana communities and how traditions like boudin have transformed into a regional delicacy consumed worldwide. In addition to these social media platforms, the films in Bayous & Backroads will be available for viewing at visitors centers throughout Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve.
The NCTA and Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve first worked together in 1980, when the NCTA began supporting cultural and interpretive programs at the park. The six sites of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve represent a treasure trove of south Louisiana’s historical and cultural riches. People from nearly every country, ethnic group, language, and religion have come to the lower Mississippi River delta and left traces of their passing. A leading non-profit in the field, the NCTA is dedicated to the presentation and documentation of folk and traditional arts in the U.S. Stressing excellence and authenticity, the NCTA presents the nation’s finest traditional artists in major festivals, tours, concerts, workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions, media productions, school programs, cross-cultural exchanges and other activities. Since 1970, the NCTA has had a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service to help plan new parks, conduct ethnographic studies, organize crafts and museum exhibits, develop traditional music presentations, train park personnel in cultural presentation techniques, and assist local non-profit groups with organizing cultural events in national parks.
For more information about NCTA visit ncta-usa.org. For more information about Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve visit https://www.nps.gov/jela/index.htm. To learn about the filmmakers, visit http://www.joelsavoy.com/ and https://www.freelancecajun.com/.