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Opelousas Museum to Present Free People of Color Exhibit in March

WHAT: Still Rising: Free People of Color in St. Landry Parish from 1700 to the Present

WHEN:  March 30, 2023 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

WHERE:  Opelousas Museum & Interpretive Center, 315 N Main St., Opelousas, LA 70570

CONTACT:  Patrice Melnick 337-948-2589; museum@cityofopelousas.com

The Opelousas Museum and Interpretive Center is developing a project entitled “Still Rising: Free People of Color in St. Landry Parish from 1700 to the present.”  St. Landry Parish had the largest number of Free People of Color in Louisiana, outside of New Orleans.  This community shaped culture, economy and other aspects of the region in the pre-Civil War era. Through images, text, maps and artifacts, the display will describe lifestyle, trades and culture. The exhibit will also explore how despite a precarious situation—free but with social restrictions—they thrived, leaving a legacy that echoes in our lives today.

Exhibit developers include historian Sarah Senette, genealogist Etha Simien Amling, designer Jerome Ford, researcher Taylor Suir, education specialist Brandi Meche and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion specialist Kristi Guillory Reid and museum director Patrice Melnick. 

The exhibit will open March 30, 2023.

Sponsors include the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, St. Landry Parish Tourism, The Jazz and Heritage Foundation and The City of Opelousas.  Partners include image360 of New Orleans, Kristi Guillory Reid Enterprises LLC., St. Landry Clerk of Courts, and Alex Genealogy.

MUSEUM HOURS:  Mon.—FR, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

315 N Main St., Opelousas, LA 70570.

FMI: Patrice Melnick 337-948-2589; museum@cityofopelousas.com