On March 3, 2018 the West Baton Rouge Museum will open a new exhibition entitled Fait à la Main: The Acadian Handicraft Project. This exhibit will feature traditional Acadian handiwork such as brown cotton woven textiles, hand sewing and wood crafts created by Louisiana artisans who participated in the handicraft project. Crafts produced by modern artisans will also be featured to show how Acadian traditions are being kept alive today.
The Acadian Handicraft Project began in 1942 and was based at Louisiana State University. Its purpose was to support French language and culture in Louisiana. Field representative Louise Olivier traveled the state purchasing crafts, mostly textiles, from Acadians and marketed them for sale. The project provided a sales outlet and source of income to Acadian women who had not previously worked outside the home, as well as encouraged craftspeople to continue the traditions involved in creating these pieces. Mrs. Olivier worked with internationally known writers and magazines, providing them material about Acadian culture that would help to promote the Acadian Handicraft Project. The Acadian Handicraft Project was at the height of its popularity in 1962 when Louise Olivier passed away, but the seeds for CODOFIL, the Council for Development of French in Louisiana, were planted and the traditions of Acadian craftwork were preserved. This exhibit is based on research conducted by the LSU Textile and Costume Museum and runs through August 5, 2018.
We are revving up for some farm fresh fun at the West Baton Rouge Museum! A boot scootin’ good time awaits for boys and girls ages 6-12 at our twenty-third annual summer history camp program. Museum staff, visiting artists and other special guests will teach campers about work, play and farm family traditions. Activities include playing vintage games, making crafts to keep, and performing old fashioned chores. Campers will examine artifacts to learn how the inventive spirit of farmers led to great innovations that made work easier. The problem solving skills of early American farmers led the way to the comforts of modern technology that we enjoy today. Ever wonder how we came from carriages to cars, plows to tractors, and washboards to washing machines? Who is Leonard Julian and John Deere? When it comes to tractors, do you prefer Big Red or Green? Find out as we till up the past to learn how these seeds of change came about to make work easier and make more time for fun! That is, of course after campers tinker around to try to solve a few farm challenges on their own! The week wraps up with an old fashioned Ice Cream Social. Space is limited! Advanced, paid registration required. Sorry, No Refunds. Bring a Bag Lunch! Snacks and drinks provided daily.
The West Baton Rouge Museum will open registration for the 2018 Teachers’ Institute on Monday, March 26, 2018. The two-day summer professional development series is designed for in-service K-12 teachers across all subject areas. This summer will be the twelfth year the museum is offering this professional development program. Participants will produce a theme-based lesson with the help of museum staff and special guests for use in their classrooms. They will also receive classroom resource materials, a certificate of participation, and a $100 stipend upon completion of all
institute activities and assignments. Daily lunches are provided. The Teachers’ Institute is limited to 25 participants. Availability is based on a first-come-first-serve basis. Registration forms may be downloaded from by clicking this link or picked up at the museum. Completed forms may be faxed to (225) 336-2448 or emailed to Museum Educator, Gwenn LaViolette, at
[email protected]. For more information, please call Museum Educator, Gwenn LaViolette at (225) 336-2422 x16.
In honor of the West Baton Rouge Museum’s 50th Anniversary, the West Baton Rouge Historical Association is opening the vault to display objects from our collection that document the rich cultural history of our parish. Many of these objects will be on display for the first time!