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Historic New Orleans Collection announces plans marking New Orleans’ Tricentennial

31st July 2017   ·   0 Comments

By James Sebastien
Contributing Writer

Nearly three centuries ago, in the year 1718, a French explorer by the name of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville happened upon a stretch of land near the mouth of the Mississippi River. It was on this very location that he founded New Orleans.

With the 300th anniversary of the City of New Orleans approaching, there will be endless celebrations and tributes to commemorate the momentous event, resulting to what will, undoubtedly, amount to a yearlong Mardi Gras bender. And, of course, the city’s preeminent resource center, The Historic New Orleans Collection would not let such an auspicious occasion pass by without a dedication of its own.

“The Historic New Orleans Collection has developed several exciting projects to celebrate the City of New Orleans’ Tricentennial over the next year. These projects will not only pay tribute to our city’s vibrant culture and complex history, but also help pave the way for a brighter future,” said Priscilla Lawrence, the longtime executive director of The Historic New Orleans Collection.

As New Orleans’ keeper of intrinsic records and relics from years gone by, THNOC (founded in 1966) recognizes the great responsibility it holds to the city and Louisiana. It is through this inherent sense of duty that THNOC feels compelled to expand its offerings for the impending Tricentennial.

The projects to come are vital in understanding the city’s multifaceted cultural influences and complicated (albeit mystifying) history. It is because of this rich heritage that the THNOC has grown into a juggernaut of scholarly research, with the ability to present new and innovative ways of immortalizing history.

At the helm of the initiatives, will be two exhibits “New Orleans, the Founding Era” and “Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina.” Founding Era will focus on rare artifacts, and the stories of Native American tribes and early settlers. Postmodern to Post-Katrina, will showcase New Orleans’ ability to survive and fight against adversity and tragedy, while expressing optimism and strength through art.

Another program to look forward to is “Making New Orleans Home: A Tricentennial Symposium,” the symposium will take place over four days, and will explore the city’s unique history through cultural programming and special lectures.

The fourth part of The Historic New Orleans Collection expansion will be a new campus, located in the French Quarter at 520 Royal Street, and expected to open in the fall of 2018. This new campus will be the organization’s third location.

“We are especially humbled and honored that so many of our fellow museums and archives have agreed to help us tell that story,” said Lawrence. “Priceless materials, from art and artifacts to maps and documents, will be traveling to New Orleans from institutions in France, Canada, Spain, and the United States, including Versailles, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and the Musée Quai Branly in Paris, and the Archives of the Indies in Seville, Spain. Having all of these items—many of which have rarely traveled beyond their home institutions — in one location will result in once-in-a-lifetime experiences for citizens and visitors.”

For information regarding scheduled Tricentennial happenings, visit the official Tricentennial website ( Information regarding the HNOC’s tricentennial plans is available online on the organization’s website ( and social media on Facebook, Instagram (@visit_THNOC) and Twitter (@visit_THNOC).

This article originally published in the July 31, 2017 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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