First Draft - Local Life

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October 16, 2020
Molly Cleaver, editor

What do we mean when we talk about Cajun Country?  The answers are tied up in race, class, language, and, of course, history.




September 18, 2020
By Dhani Adomaitis, Madeline Drace, Michelle Harrison, and Cecilia Hock

For years, cinephiles have lamented a lack of originality coming out of Hollywood studios. However, there’s no shortage of stories waiting to be told onscreen, and that’s where we can be of use to studio bosses.




August 21, 2020
By Dave Walker, communication specialist

The 1951 film of Tennessee Williams’s New Orleans-set A Streetcar Named Desire won multiple Academy Awards and is considered a landmark of American cinema. To prepare for the August 24, 2020, #NolaMovieNight group re-watch of the film, First Draft returned to local dialect coach and acting teacher Francine Segal for insight into the film’s accents (always of interest to New Orleanians) and acting styles.




July 2, 2020
By Dave Walker, communication specialist

When she died in June 2019 at age 96, Leah Chase was celebrated as a New Orleans legend, icon, and inspiration. During research for 2009’s animated The Princess and Frog, directors Ron Clements and John Musker called on Chase’s life story and culinary renown—a journey from French Quarter waitress to James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award recipient—as inspiration for the character of Tiana, Disney’s first African American princess.




June 5, 2020
By Nina Bozak, library cataloger

Casino Royale became Stormy’s Casino Royale in 1948, named for (but not owned by) its star act, Stacy “Stormy” Lawrence. The club became known for featuring some of the most outlandish acts on Bourbon Street.




June 5, 2020
By Dave Walker, communication specialist

Curator/Historian Eric Seiferth takes us through the music scene on Bourbon Street in the 1950s.




May 29, 2020
By Keely Merritt, head of photography

The city's second-oldest neighborhood is full of history. All it takes is a walk along the levee to see it. Join THNOC Head of Photography Keely Merrit as she gives us a tour of her neighborhood.




April 10, 2020
By Sarah Duggan, CIS coordinator and research curator

This 18th-century tool is an ancestor of the waffle iron, but it tells a much wider story—of religion, foodways, and female enterprise.




April 9, 2020
By Nick Weldon, associate editor

Our staff members are often the ones studying major historic events, but sometimes we live through them. This is the story of our Associate Editor Nick Weldon who came down with COVID-19 at the height of the global pandemic.




March 27, 2020
By John Magill, retired curator

As New Orleans reels under the global outbreak of the new coronavirus, lessons from a 100-year-old pandemic have come back with a new urgency.




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