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CAPITOL PARK MUSEUM AFTER HOURS WITH CARNIVAL IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL: THE WASHINGTON MARDI GRAS BALL

Vice President Richard Nixon; Queen Dawn Marie Hebert, daughter of Congressman F. Edward Hebert; and King James A. Noe, former governor of Louisiana, 1953. Gift of Dawn Hebert, 2013.046.10.

Join Friends of the Capitol Park Museum and the Louisiana State Museum for an evening of pageantry, politics, and Mardi Gras in Louisiana with Jessica Dauterive and Arthur Hardy. Dauterive will share her research on culture and pageantry followed by a guided tour of Carnival in the Nation’s Capital: The Washington Mardi Gras Ball exhibition by Arthur Hardy. The free event happens on Thursday, February 9, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge. Registration is required on Eventbrite.

Dauterive will discuss her doctoral research on representations of Louisiana’s Acadiana region and how those have been expressed through Mardi Gras, tourism, and folk festivals. Her dissertation, “Imagining Acadiana: Cajun Identity in Modern Louisiana,” explores the shifting boundaries of Cajun identity in southwest Louisiana from the 1930s to the 1970s.

Carnival in the Nation’s Capital features royal regalia, costumes, photographs, posters, and memorabilia. Highlights include the gown that Barbara Boggs, daughter of Hale and Lindy Boggs, wore as queen in 1957; Russell Long’s and John Breaux’s captain’s costumes; George Rodrigue’s painting of the 1985 king, Marion Edwards; and photographs showing national political figures, from Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, and Gerald and Betty Ford to Sandra Day O’Connor.

According to carnival expert Arthur Hardy, the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians, which sponsors the ball, is a key player in the “pantheon of Carnival organizations in the state. The beautiful and comprehensive exhibit currently running at the Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge is a tribute to the 75-year history of this important and vibrant organization which, since its founding, has been led by political leaders from Louisiana who have brought the state’s signature event to the nation’s capital.”

About the Presenters

Jessica Dauterive is a PhD candidate in history at George Mason University. She focuses on twentieth-century U.S. history with concentrations in cultural, digital, and public history. Her dissertation will explore the development of twentieth-century Cajun identity through tools of mass culture, including records, radio, television, tourism, and folk festivals.

Arthur Hardy has been featured in magazines, books, radio, and television, including the Today Show and National Geographic. A 1970 graduate of Loyola University, he taught in the public school system for three years, then went on to become band director at Brother Martin High School. Seeing the need for more detailed information about Mardi Gras parades, he began publishing Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide in 1977. The annual publication remains indispensable for carnival aficionados.

About Capitol Park Museum

From Louis Armstrong to Huey P. Long, from Mardi Gras to fais-dodos, and from the nation-building commerce of the Mississippi River to the life-sustaining bounty of the Gulf of Mexico, the Capitol Park Museum provides a panoramic exploration of the most vibrant state in America. The museum’s commitment to education and civic engagement is possible through the support of our sponsors and the Friends of Capitol Park Museum.

Located at 660 North 4th Street in Baton Rouge, Capitol Park Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to Capitol Park Museum is $7 for adults; $6 for students, seniors, and active military; and, free for children 6 and under.

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