Stories Captured Oral History Project Collects City’s History

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 14, 2020

 Opelousas Oral History Project Collects Special Community History

 (Opelousas, LA) – The City of Opelousas, along with the Celebrate Opelousas 300 Committee, is excited to announce Stories Captured, an oral history project. The project features a collection of interviews done with local residents, former educators, long time business owners and more. The interviews can be viewed online at www.opelousas2020.com.

Organized by Opelousas Tourism and the Celebrate Opelousas 300 Committee, a team made up of staff, consultants and volunteers representing various organizations worked on the project components including audio interviews.  Through a partnership with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Special Collection’s Department, interviews will also be archived for future resource use.  The project was made possible through a federal grant awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMSL) to Opelousas Tourism in the amount of $21,635.

“Our city has such a such a rich history and we are fortunate to have many people from our community share their special stories and recollections which will help, in turn, to preserve our heritage and culture,” said Opelousas Mayor Julius Alsandor. Among the many resident’s stories collected are long time business owners, former educators, community activists and leaders and volunteers.  Interviewees shared their experiences, whether it was a life story or a significant period. “The goal of this project is to collect and preserve valuable memories of the people that form the special fabric of our community,” said Opelousas Tourism Director Melanie Lee-Lebouef.

Along with Stories Captured, the city highlighted its 300th anniversary year with a variety of activities and projects including a unity prayer event, community mural, traffic box art installations, history workshops, a time capsule burial and more. The Oral History Project is led by the Celebrate 300 Committee and Opelousas Tourism, with support from the City of Opelousas. The project incorporated community partners including the Celebrate Opelousas 300 Commission, Opelousas Main Street, Opelousas Historic District Commission, Imperial St. Landry Genealogical & Historical Society, the Opelousas Public Library, University Archives & Acadiana Manuscripts Collection, and community volunteers.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries  and 35,000 museums.  The mission of the agency is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.

For more information about the Oral History Project, contact Opelousas Tourism at tourism@cityofopelousas.com