Dear Community,

It has been a little over a month since we won the support of the backers for our project “Creole Garçons”. And we are still riding on cloud 9! We’re feeling energized, encouraged, empowered, and equipped. Thank you backers, 24 Hour Citizen Project, and YOU community.

The 24 Hour Citizen project happened right in the middle of a very busy season for us. As some of you may know, we are the creators of The Creole Nutcracker. And since August of this year, we have been very busy working on this production. Well on Sunday, December 5th we had our 4th annual performance of The Creole Nutcracker. It was our big return to the stage after the pandemic and it was actually our most attended show!

The Creole Nutcracker 2021 featured 4 young men including our Nutcracker Prince. At the show, we highlighted 3 of the young men and announced the upcoming launch of our “Creole Garçons” program. The exciting news is not only did we raise additional funds for our program through apparel sales but we also received several emails from the community about potential sponsors, partnerships, instructors, and most significantly young men wanting to sign up!

Now that our 2021 Creole Nutcracker program and performance has concluded, we can focus more on completing our next steps to launch Creole Garçons in 2022. Our first step is to solidify our project timeline and programming. It is important that we choose a timeline that works best for our participants’ and our own current commitments. And of course, we want to ensure that our programming successfully meets our goal of educating our young men in as many facets of the arts as possible. Next, we will work to finalize partnerships with youth organizations. There are many organizations in Lafayette that already have the time and attention of young men who would greatly benefit from our arts education program. We will coordinate visits and/or classes with the intention of recruiting participants for Creole Garçons. Lastly, in 2021 we are working to secure male professional artists to teach our workshops and mentor our young men. As three black women, we know the value of representation. Hence, we are adamant that the young men in our program work primarily with professionals who look like future versions of them.

We believe in the necessity and sustainability of this program. We are excited to begin working and look forward to impacting more boys in Acadiana. ART SAVES LIVES! Thanks again for your support!

Leigha Porter and Jazmyn Jones
Team Creole Garçons