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2012 Annual Meeting: Pre-Conference Events

Note: Registration for these events closed October 1.

New Orleans Historic Preservation Tour
Wednesday, October 24, 9 AM -- 5 PM

Immediately after Hurricane Katrina a number of local residents and preservation professionals began the long journey towards rebuilding their neighborhoods. On this full day tour, led by local residents and cultural geographer Jay Edwards, we will visit the Treme neighborhood, the lower 9th ward and other areas to learn what has been accomplished and what challenges lie ahead. Ina Fandrich of the New Orleans African American Museum will be showing us shotgun houses and other sites. Also joining us will be a representative from the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office. We’ll be having lunch at the historic Mandina’s Restaurant, well known for its Creole specialties. Sponsored by the Historic Preservation Working Group.

Tour guides: Naydja Bynum (Local Preservationist and Advocate), Jay Edwards (Louisiana State University),Ina Fandrich (Former Curator, New Orleans African American Museum), and Mike Varnado (Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office)

Registration: $70, including lunch

Tour participants should meet at the corner of Royal and Canal Street between 8:30 and 8:45 to board the bus.


Saints and Sinners Tour
Wednesday, October 24, 9 AM -- 5 PM

Join Nick Spitzer of public radio's American Routes and Tulane University for a bus tour of New Orleans vernacular landscape that touches on the musical, ritual, carnival, culinary, artisan and funereal traditions of a wide range of New Orleanians. Included are the above-ground Cities of the Dead--white washed in anticipation of All Saints, some with ex voto relics and wrought iron crucifixes--and Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau (spiritual power) entombed adjacent to the late mayor Ernest "Dutch" Morial (political power). At a smaller burial ground in low ground, back of town, are homemade graves of local singers, jazzmen and the noted "bed" graves. Neighborhood museums celebrate living culture: The Backstreet Museum is located in a small former funeral parlor in the Tremé and curated by self-taught photographer Sylvester Francis, who will talk about and show costumes of Mardi Gras Indians, Baby Dolls and Bonemen, as well as second line and jazz funeral finery of the city's social aid and pleasure clubs. We’ll cross the Industrial Canal to the legendary Lower 9th Ward of musical and catastrophic flood fame to see Fats’ Domino’s house (the "Afro-Creole Graceland”) and then turn back upriver to the newly built Musician’s Village. On the other side of the Mississippi is the African American self-taught artist Charles Gillam’s Folk Arts Zone and Blues Museum, where his yard sculptures, bas relief carvings and assemblage of work in concrete and driftwood all lead to memorial walls with plaster faces of blues men and women.

In between our peregrinations seeking sacred and profane spots of creative traditions in the Crescent City is a Creole lunch repast at Dooky Chase’s restaurant with recipes of community elder and art collector Leah Chase. Time permitting or as need arises we’ll drink some New Orleans coffee.

Registration: $70, including lunch

Tour participants should meet at the corner of Royal and Canal Street between 8:30 and 8:45 to board the bus.


Spirits of New Orleans: A Backstage Tour of a Haunted City
Wednesday, October 24, 3:30--6:30 PM

New Orleans is the great American city of spiritualists, mediums, psychics, and paranormal lore of every flavor. With these traditions come liaisons between belief and performance, art and commerce, liaisons that have produced the richest ecosystem of folklore-based, tourist-oriented street theater in the country. Bloody Mary (Mary Millan) is a dean among New Orleans ghost-story tour guides--a local professional teller, community scholar, and voodoo priestess. In this special tour, sponsored by the Storytelling Section of AFS, she will lead us on a multi-level tour of haunted New Orleans, revealing and reveling in the supernatural lore of the city while reflecting on the process of retelling and retailing it in the performance rituals of commercial tourism. Sponsored by the Storytelling Section.

Registration: $40, including a light supper

The tour group should meet in the Hotel Monteleone lobby to start the tour.

Professional Development Workshop: Introduction to Digital Audio Field Recording
Wednesday, October 24, 8:00 am -- Noon
Royal C

This workshop will provide a general introduction to current and next-generation digital field recording options for practicing folklorists. It will include an examination of a wide variety of digital formats and a discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of each. We will discuss the computer’s role in interfacing with digital field recording equipment, examine a variety of hardware and software options, discuss budgetary needs for relevant equipment, and emphasize the formulation and implementation of a future technology plan for ethnographic digital audio research collections. Workshop participants are encouraged to bring their own recording equipment. Sponsored by the Archives and Libraries Section.

Instructors: Nathan Georgitis (University of Oregon) and Andy Kolovos (Vermont Folklife Center)

Registration: $50; Student rate: $35

Professional Development Workshop: Preparing and Preserving Digital Folklife Fieldwork Materials
Wednesday, October 24, 1:00--5:00 PM
Royal C

This workshop will provide an introduction to current archival best practices for the preservation of multimedia digital resources created by ethnographic fieldworkers. The workshop will provide guidelines to insure the accessibility and longevity of the research collections of researchers who are working without the support of professional archivists, be they independent folklorists, academic researchers, graduate students, or public folklorists in institutional environments. The workshop leaders will discuss the fundamentals of digital preservation, with a special consideration of the demands of digital multimedia materials. Topics will include best practices for processing materials for access and long-term digital preservation, as well as analog to digital conversion basics, file formats, digital storage options, and life-cycle management. Participants will examine the technological needs for appropriately processing digital audio, still images, and moving images for archival and preservation purposes. Sponsored by the Archives and Libraries Section.

Instructors:  Andy Kolovos (Vermont Folklife Center) and Virginia Luehrsen (University of Texas, Austin)

Registration: $50; Student rate: $35

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