Cherice Harrison-Nelson is an educator, narrative visual and performance artist, and arts administrator. She is the co-editor of 11 publications and coordinated numerous exhibitions and panels on West African inspired cultural traditions from New Orleans. Her creative expressions have been performed, presented and exhibited locally and internationally. She is the recipient of several honors: Fulbright Scholarship to study in West Africa; Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Award, and 2016 United States Artist Fellowship. She approaches her art as a cognitive provocateur, with intentionality to engage observers through imagery and performance that simultaneously explore gender roles, classism and other limiting/confining norms.
Dr. Nicole Caridad Ralston (What's Your Jam?- Culinary Contributor)
Dr. Nicole Caridad Ralston is a social justice advocate who happens to also love all things New Orleans, most specifically New Orleans food! She curates an Instagram food blog called @EatenPathNola where she shares her favorite eats around the city and uplifts the history of the cultures responsible for our local foodways, namely Black and native New Orleanians. She believes that you cannot enjoy the city's food without also acknowledging the intersections of race, history, and social identities that are baked into its foundation. As a Cuban-American, she believes that New Orleans calls to the Caribbean parts of her soul, and even though she isn't from here, she can't imagine living anywhere else!
Terri Simon (Spirit Trees- Cultural Contributor)
Terri Simon is a writer and researcher who specializes in Black history and literature, and New Orleans history and culture from the colonial era to the present. A proud trivia nerd and pubquiz host, she is also a program coordinator for the nation's first academic quiz competition for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Kim Vaz-Deville (Umbrella Strut- Cultural Contributor)
Kim is a professor of Education at Xavier University of Louisiana. She is a licensed professional counselor and a psychoanalyst. Her research area of interest is on the use of expressive arts as a response to large group social trauma. She explores this interest in her books and exhibits. Her book, The ‘Baby Dolls’: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition (LSU Press, 2013) was the basis for The Louisiana State Museum Presbytere’s 2013 exhibition “They Call Me Baby Doll: A Mardi Gras Tradition”. The ‘Baby Dolls’ was the 2016 selection of the Young Leadership Council’s program, One Book One New Orleans. She followed up this work with an anthology, Walking Raddy: The Baby Dolls of New Orleans (University Press of Mississippi, 2018). Her exhibition co-curated with Ron Bechet titled, "Masked in Mardi Gras: Afro-Diasporic Sacred Dimensions of the New Orleans Carnival", opens at the Louisiana State Museum unit of the Presbytere in January 2021. She is an avid beader and for the past four years has created black masking Indian suits (a century-old Afro-New Orleanian tradition) for members of her tribe, the Golden Feather Hunter Warriors.