By Sharlee Jacobs
Shadows-on-the-Teche is thankful to be a recipient of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) Louisiana Culture Care Fund (LCCF). The LCCF is meant to help Louisiana’s cultural community weather the coronavirus by covering general operating expenses through funds made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Helis Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Josef Sternburg Memorial Foundation.
The award has helped The Shadows survive an almost complete loss of income during what is typically their busiest season. Due to COVID-19, they were unable to hold several events, including the Shadows Plein Air Competition, Farm Fest, and the fall Arts & Craft Fair. Tour groups scheduled for spring, summer, and fall have cancelled without any rescheduling plans. They were also forced to cancel their ever-popular summer history camp and new eighth grade education program.
But during this extended close, Shadows staff has been busier than ever using this time to work on numerous projects and address deferred maintenance. They are in the process of completing extensive research in order to better tell the full and complete history of The Shadows. This work will result in a new tour, introductory exhibit, guide training, and interpretive signage in the gardens, all of which will expand on the African American experience at The Shadows. In addition, they are in the process of designing a new website that will launch later this fall.
The Shadows Visitor Center has been bustling with activity both inside and out. Crews have installed a new roof and are installing new shutters on the exterior of the building. The facilities manager single-handedly painted the interior public spaces, while also completing a thorough cleanup of the gardens.
In anticipation of spring, The Shadows staff has begun planning events for 2021 with a call to artists recently issued for the upcoming Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air Competition.
“We are extremely grateful to LEH for the support provided by the LCCF and look forward to sharing this new work with you,” said Jayd Buteaux, The Shadows marketing and programs manager.