Arts & Culture

Photo Credit: Kate Elkins

This week on Inside the Arts, Carnival revelry kicks into high gear as Mardi Gras is here! 

 We’ll explore adventures along the parade route. Food writer Ian McNulty looks at a new variety of king cakes.  Reporter Betsy Shepherd has an eye on Fat Tuesday’s environmental impact.  And, WYES TV host Peggy Scott Laborde joins us with a preview of the LIVE broadcast of the Rex Ball and the Meeting of the Courts of Rex and Comus.  Airs Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m., Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m., and Thursdays at 8:45 a.m. 

Dennis Guidry/WWNO

Whenever you think of Mardi Gras, you probably think parades, floats and beads being thrown in the air, but there is another side of Mardi Gras that’s not as widely known outside of the Cajun and Creole cultures of Southwest Louisiana. It’s called, “Courir de Mardi Gras.”

Going door-to-door, dressed in disguise, singing old Cajun French songs, chasing chickens, and collecting ingredients for your gumbo are all a part of the Courir de Mardi Gras tradition.

Live in Portland, Maine

Feb 24, 2020
Frederick Hauck
Greta Rybus

Paul Knoll must help evacuate a school to avert a tragedy.

Melissa Coleman deals with the loss of her younger sister.

Frederick Hauck leads NASA back into space after the Challenger disaster. 

Harry Shearer
Harry Shearer / Harry Shearer

With just a couple days left before Mardi Gras Harry Shearer brings us Dominion, News of the Goldy, News of the Warm, News of the Olympic Movement, News of Bad Banks, News From the Land of 15,000 Princes, The Apologies of the Week and great music centered around New Orleans.  

The NFL, The USFL & The Making Of The Saints

Feb 21, 2020
The Historic New Orleans Collection

The United States Football League was big news in the 1980s, but few realize the league was conceived right here in New Orleans in the 1960s. Local businessman Dave Dixon threatened to create this new league as a means to leverage the NFL into awarding the city a pro football franchise. In this edition of NOLA Life Stories, Dave’s son, Shea, looks back on this early history of the USFL.


American Routes: Cherice Harrison-Nelson

Feb 21, 2020
Cherice Harrison-Nelson
American Routes

Cherice Harrison-Nelson grew up in a high-minded family of readers. Her mother Herreast ran nursery schools. Her father Donald Harrison was a veteran and postal worker, interested in philosophy and art. He grew up in the Mardi Gras Indian tradition of honoring Native American culture by local African American carnival tribes.  The Harrisons have long been concerned about social justice.

This week on Inside the Arts, the 23rd New Orleans French Film Festival gets underway right after Mardi Gras.  It’s one of the longest-running foreign language festivals in the country.  We talk with the festival’s artistic director emeritus John Desplas.

And, the Contemporary Arts Center continues its run of a series of exhibits highlighting women artists, headlined by internationally acclaimed Brooklyn painter Mickalene Thomas.  We caught up with Thomas who will join us in our studio.

This week on The Reading Life: New Orleanian Jason Hardy, whose new book about his experiences as a probation and parole officer is “The Second Chance Club: Hope and Hardship after Prison.”

It's the Little Things

Feb 14, 2020
Jason Falchook

Beverley Elliott writes a song about a yellow dress, despite not owning one. Lee Thomas is a newscaster with vitiligo. Matthew McGough becomes a Yankee batboy. Reilly Horan considers her relationship to clothing and to her identity. Camille Woods seeks a small bit of comfort after the death of her son. 

American Routes Shortcuts: Michael Cuscuna

Feb 14, 2020
Michael Cuscuna
American Routes

Our guest knows something of the mystical appeal of records; he's been a deejay in underground radio and a record producer in blues, jazz, and pop.  For many years Michael Cuscuna has dug deep in the vaults of record companies like Blue Note and Atlantic to put out specially designed and remastered collections of great jazz.  In 1982, he teamed up with Charlie Lourie to found Mosaic Records, which is part of the Blue Note Label Group.  Mosaic continues to be a front-runner in reissues, specializing in limited edition, mail-order-box sets.  Michael Cuscuna told us how he got the idea to s