R. Reese Fuller

Lafayette rakes in Humanities honors

by R. Reese Fuller

When the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities holds its annual awards banquet to honor Louisiana residents who make outstanding contributions to the humanities, Lafayette will be well-represented.

Folklorist Barry Jean Ancelet has been named the LEH's 2009 Humanist of the Year. The Scott resident and longtime UL Lafayette professor has worked for more than 30 years studying and preserving Cajun and Creole heritage and music.

The inaugural Michael P. Smith Memorial Award for Documentary Photography will go to local photographer Philip Gould. Since 1974, Gould has been documenting Louisiana life and has published his images in over a dozen books and countless periodicals.

The Humanities Documentary Film of the Year Award will be given to Charles E. Richard for writing and co-producing the LPB film, Louisiana Story: The Reverse Angle. Richard is a UL English professor and director of the university's Cinematic Arts Workshop.

Cathy Mills, an art and Louisiana history teacher at Episcopal School of Acadiana, will be honored with the 2009 Humanities Teacher of the Year award. Mills uses interdisciplinary projects to help students tackle real-world issues facing Louisiana.

The Friends of the Humanities of Lafayette will be honored with The Chair's Award for Institutional Support. Formed 20 years, the group's original mission to support the humanities programs at UL has grown into the larger mission of support the humanities in the community.

The annual LEH annual awards banquet will take place on March 21, at the Houmas House Plantation and Gardens in Darrow.