(Opelousas, LA) – An Oral History Project and Exhibit will be included in the activities of the City’s 2020 Tricentennial events thanks to a federal grant awarded to Opelousas Tourism in the amount of $21,635. The grant, which was awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), will result in some of the oral history stories to be digitally archived as well as create exhibits for Opelousas Tourism and the Opelousas Museum & Interpretive Center. Grant funds will be used for the Opelousas Tricentennial Oral History Project. The project will involve interviewing residents to collect and record stories of their ancestors and other historical aspects of the area. Photographs shared during participant interviews will be scanned by project volunteers for a future exhibit centered around the city’s 300-year celebration. The exhibit will be rotated between Le Vieux Village Historical Park and Heritage Museum and the Opelousas Museum and Interpretive Center.
The project will incorporate community partners which include the Opelousas Tricentennial Commission, Opelousas Tourism and Main Street, Imperial St. Landry Genealogical & Historical Society, Opelousas High School, the Opelousas-Eunice Public Library, Historic District Commission, the Opelousas Museum and Interpretive Center, the Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and community volunteers.
Jennifer Ritter Guidry, who is serving as consultant over the Oral History Project, will begin training participants to conduct interviews utilizing digital audio equipment this fall. The training dates are November 20, 21 and December 3, 17 and 19th on each day from 9:00 – 4:00 pm at Le Vieux Village. Meanwhile, exhibit planning will begin in the spring of 2019 with anticipation of the unveiling of the project in early 2020 for the city’s tricentennial year. About the Institute of Museum and Library Services The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.