When: Press conference, dedication and blessing ceremony at the New Orleans Sacred Music Festival Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 8pm.
Speakers: Carolyn Morrow-Long, author A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau and Dr Martha Ward, author Voodoo Queen: The Spirited Lives of Marie Laveau.
Where: New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Avenue, New Orleans LA 70117.
What it is: The International Shrine of Marie Laveau is a living, spiritual and artistic project within the New Orleans Healing Center. It centers around a statue of Marie Laveau created for the International Shrine so that the community, pilgrims and visitors will have an appropriate site to leave offerings and conduct prayers.
Why: Marie Laveau is at the heart of New Orleans history and culture. The most famous Vodou Queen of all time, a devout Catholic, advocate for African American freedom and rights, and powerful spiritual and social leader, she is New Orleans' most famous and revered resident, drawing thousands of visitors to her tomb each year making it the 2nd most visited in the US. In December 2013, the tomb was damaged with pink latex paint, resulting in dramatically reduced access. The International Shrine of Marie Laveau will provide a new venue for visitors and the local community to celebrate, connect with and visit Marie Laveau.
Vision: A living, growing shrine. The statue of Marie Laveau created by Ricky Pustanio for Saint John's Eve celebrations at Bayou St John, a tradition kept alive by a modern congregation, was a gift by the artist to create the centerpiece of the Shrine. Eventually, the International Shrine will include mosaics created by leading local artists, inspired by the Escadaria Selarón - the mosaic tile stairway in Rio de Janeiro. Featuring standing church candelabras and a dramatic framework of organza, the shrine will be a living, growing cultural phenomenon as people contribute offerings and works of art.
This expression of New Orleans social history and living cultural traditions will be complemented by wall plaques written by leading academics on Marie Laveau and her New Orleans.
For more information contact Sallie Ann Glassman (504) 948-9961
*The copyright for "The International Shrine of Marie Laveau" has been applied for.