Community Arts Program

Mardi Gras Indian Arts

Launched in 2007, the Mardi Gras Indian Arts is an eight-week full immersion experience for youth ages 11-14 in the Greater New Orleans area focused on Mardi Gras Indian art and culture. During hands-on sessions with the city's leading bearers of the Mardi Gras Indian tradition, students learn about Indian suit design and how to sew in both the "Uptown" and "Downtown" styles. Lectures, film and video screenings, and conversations with guest speakers round out the curriculum and help students understand the rich costume and parade traditions of Mardi Gras Indians, including Native American, African, and Carribean influences.

This is a natural outgrowth of CAP’s ten-year partnership with artist and educator Big Chief Darryl Montana of the Yellow Pocahontas Mardi Gras Indians.  Recognizing that neighborhood-based art forms like the Mardi Gras Indians are the soul of our city, we are committed over the long-term to helping perpetuate the tradition from one generation to the next.