“This cause is personal to me because my family has been taunted by photographers about how much they have sold my daddy’s image for, and they even tried to take photos at his funeral without permission,” states Cherice Harrison-Nelson, curator of the Hall of Fame, big queen of Guardians of the Flame Maroon Society, and the daughter of legendary Big Chief Donald Harrison. “But this is bigger than my family – the green paper provides evidence of how widespread this disregard for the artistic skill of Mardi Gras Indians has become. We will use it to further advance the ‘You Get Paid, I Get Paid’ campaign we launched during last year’s Blue Linen Night.”
The green paper was completed as part of a broad coalition that is advocating for greater equity in New Orleans cultural economy and tourism industry. Organized during Foundation for Louisiana’s 2014 Equity Caucus and funded by the foundation’s TOGETHER Initiative, this working group is developing a survey, app and other tools to help culture bearers gain more control over the economic aspects of their work.