SOLA Giving Day: Louisiana Folk Roots preserves heritage

SOLA Giving Day

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — As we observe South Louisiana Giving Day, we take a look at the work of a local organization dedicated to preserving Louisiana folk culture, with an emphasis on Cajun and Creole culture.

Here is how Louisiana Folk Roots got started and why they still need your support.

Master fiddler, Cajun musician and cultural crusader Dewey Balfa is known for the role he played in reviving traditional cajun music, that eventually secured Acadiana’s place on the global stage.

His daughter, Christine Balfa and Dirk Powel followed her father’s lead by establishing “Louisiana Folk Roots” back in 2000.

Executive director, Glenn Fields explains the organization’s mission.

“We’re serving as a resource in Louisiana for people to come from other places and learn about our Cajun and Creole culture as well as educate people here who didn’t get a chance growing up to immerse themselves”, Fields said.

Fields says LFR is one of many organizations tasked with the goal of preserving local culture through events and performances they produce.

LFR produces four events every year.  They are, the Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week now in its 20th year, a kids camp celebrating 10 years, the 15 year old Southwest Louisiana Black Pot Cookoff and Music Festival and on October 7th thru the 9th, they hope to put on their first folk roots band camp.

Fields says they, “Primarily like to hire masters of the arts and crafts, music, culture, history here in our area and put them in touch with people who want to know so that they can learn one on one or in a small group.”

He also says the organization provides a win-win-win situation because they hire several hundred musicians for their events throughout the year that attract some three thousand people from 47 states, generating an economic, cultural and tourism boost.

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