Long Live Louisiana

Long Live Louisiana

Living in Louisiana can feel precarious. At its best, it’s a life lived by seizing the moment, but at its worst, we look with some trepidation to the annual threat of hurricanes and the future of an eroding coast. The work of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, at its heart, responds to this uncertainty by linking our current experiences to the lessons of the past and plans for the future through preservation of our culture.

This process of preserving the past to develop a better future inspires our call, today, for your continued support to keep the unique culture of Louisiana alive. Donate now and discover stories from the field as part of our work to declare #LongLiveLouisiana below.

Invest in Louisiana by giving to the LEH today. Your support will help preserve the past, impact the present, and inspire the future of our state.


Cameron Parish has been battered by storms and threatened by change and development. For the spring 2023 issue of 64 Parishes, author Megan Poole returned to her home to document the ways of life that flourish, even under pressure, in this corner of the state. Long after the news crews had moved on, 64 Parishes helped to shine a light on the continuing struggles of this coastal community.

Hurricane Ida destroyed the southernmost Lafourche Parish Public Library branch and left its main branch inoperable. The damage left the library unable to reopen just when residents needed it most. A Disaster Mitigation Grant helped the library move to remote servers to provide residents access to the internet after an emergency to apply for housing and food assistance and submit claims.

Prime Time brings families together to read and discuss children’s books to create a foundation for learning by strengthening parents’ role as their child’s first and most important educator. With the goal of reaching parents where they are, Prime Time has increased its offerings for bilingual families such as those at Wildwood Elementary School in Baton Rouge, where a book is explored in English and Spanish.

Through The Helis Foundation John Scott Center, we strive to live out John T. Scott’s philosophy of “pass it on” by sharing his visionary approach to art, culture, and storytelling with the world. In addition to housing more than 50 of this Louisiana native’s works, the center serves as a community gathering space that integrates arts and humanities programming unlike any other space in the Gulf South. 

The Institute for Louisiana Culture and History launched in 2022 as a statewide educational hub providing free, reliable Louisiana social studies resources for students and teachers. In addition to educator workshops, it supports the 64parishes.org encyclopedia with grade-level content aligned to the new state social studies standards and will add hundreds of new entries in the first three years.

Far beyond a static art space, the center serves as an interactive hub at the crossroads of art, culture, and social change. Earlier this year Young Audiences of Louisiana, a leading provider of arts education, joined us to present Baby ArtsPlay! The artist-led workshop guided young participants in an exploration of color, fine motor skills, and movement by referencing the sculptural works of John T. Scott.

The Annual Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival showcases Louisiana’s unique culture. The recipient of a LEH grant, the 2023 festival celebrated the resilience of the people of Louisiana and their folk traditions. In addition to free performances and workshops, LEH grant funding also made possible a pre-festival event showcasing Louisiana fiddlers and musicologists and increased accessibility for the hearing impaired.

Dr. Daniel Gonzalez first began working with Prime Time nearly 20 years ago and has served as a scholar, storyteller, and trainer. While the conversations that follow a Prime Time book reading are spontaneous, the methods used to elicit them are not. Program leaders must undergo training to ensure they understand the method of using open-ended questioning to spur deep discussions.

“Four Women and their Languages” highlights personal stories of the language shifts of the Houma people through historical documentation, archival research, and personal narratives. Through 64 Parishes magazine, we meet four Houma women and see how each would have spoken, as well as how changes to their worlds affected what languages they spoke. Readers are also introduced to the Houma Language Project.