The role of women in Cajun and Creole music was front and center as Louisiana artist Melissa Bonin unveiled the official poster for 2019's Festival Acadiens et Creoles.
Bonin said her poster, called "Song Birds," depicts two doves in flight. The doves represent the human soul and eternal life, and their flight is a "powerful metaphor for freedom and the soul's journey for higher knowledge." She also wrote a poem about the legacy of women in Cajun and Creole culture and music called "We Sing" for the occasion.
"On the brink of this new day with this new generation of strong and smart young women leading the charge, we reclaim our music, our words, our wisdom, our wisdom and intuition. On this day, this new day, we sing our own songs with newly found voices to lift them up to even higher places," Bonin said.
The festival's theme was designed to promote a part of Cajun and Creole music that has largely been overlooked, the role of women in not only writing and singing these songs, but also in keeping them alive through the generations before recording. Many of the acts performing at this year's Festival Acadiens et Creoles will have women as members of their bands.
"We're really delighted this year to be focusing on the role of women in Cajun and Creole music," festival Director Barry Ancelet said. "We're hoping to celebrate the role of Cajun and Creole women."
On Oct. 11, before the festival begins, there will be a symposium on the role of Cajun and Creole women in music in Hamilton Hall Auditorium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be free to the public, although seating is limited.