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Four Iberia assets awarded Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Grant

The Church Alley Pocket Park is part of the City of New Iberia's efforts to revitalize its National Register Historic District

Posted: Feb 5, 2021 8:15 AM

NEW IBERIA, La. --- The city of New Iberia, Bayou Teche Museum, Iberia Cultural Resources Association and TECHE Project are among the 13 recipients of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area (ANHA) fall 2020 grant cycle.

The ANHA Grant Program, funded through the National Park Service, is distributing $122,515.44 in grant funds to promote environmental, recreational, and cultural heritage assets in the area.

This grant provides matching funds assistance through reimbursement. The recipient, therefore, must provide proof of payment for 100% of eligible expenses when submitting a request for reimbursement.

“In Louisiana, we celebrate our culture like nowhere else in the country," said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. "And, you can get firsthand experience of some of that culture in the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area. Through these grants, our basin communities will be able to better tell the stories of their culture, authentic and real stories that will Feed Your Soul. Through these stories we can learn of the evolution of this rich blend of cultures, traditions, and lifeways that have created this special place known as the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.”

The goal of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area is to preserve and promote the cultural, natural and recreational resources of the 14 parishes that encompass the Atchafalaya Basin. Grant awardees must prove projects meet this vision through cultural event showcases, heritage interpretation efforts, and natural or recreational improvements. Criteria include project feasibility, sustainability and creativity.

The city of New Iberia received $10,000 to develop a wayfinding sign system connecting the historic and cultural districts and tell the city's full history and story.

Bayou Teche Museum will use its $1,000 grant to include text panels telling the story of the impact enslaved labor played in the growth and expansion of the sugar industry.

Iberia Cultural Resources Association was awarded $5,000 for the Books Along the Teche Literary Festival, which honors Southern storytellers and writers who write about the South or celebrate Southern themes and places. The celebration, to be held April 9-11, 2021, will include music, food, tours and interpretive demonstrations unique to Iberia Parish and South Louisiana.

With its $465.44 allocation, TECHE Project will design handouts and marketing materials to promote the Bayou Teche National Paddle Trail, including maps and information about the trail.

"We would like to thank ANHA for helping us attract visitors to our region by providing grant funds and marketing opportunities for our tourism assets," said Fran Thibodeaux, executive director of the Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The four projects awarded are located in the New Iberia National Register Historic District and align with Mayor Freddie DeCourt’s masterplan to make New Iberia a quintessential place of tourism growth. Iberia Travel is eager to continue supporting the efforts of the mayor and all the tourism partners awarded with strategic marketing of the district."

The ANHA will run its next grant cycle in spring 2021. To learn more about the heritage area, visit www.Atchafalaya.org. For more information and updates, visit the ANHA Grant Program webpage.

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