Thursday, December 31, 2009

Not throws...we call em GIFTS!

I have mentioned before that technically Twelfth Night "should" be January 5th but that we in the U.S. celebrate it January 6th, the day's some good info on the evolution of celebrations associated with Twelfth Night...

Twelfth Night is of course the night that the Three Wise Men visited the Nativity and gave gifts...

We're giving gifts for Twelfth Night to parade goers, including some that reflect Joan's three Voices (St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret)--consider them, perhaps her Two Wise Women and One Wise Man. The photos above are of the Poor Clare Monastery on Henry Clay Avenue in Uptown New Orleans, where Sister Rita Hickey lives and makes crafts that are sold in their excellent gift shop.

She made 50 magnets of Joan's Voices (and some of Joan herself) just for us (don't worry, we paid The Poor Clares for them!), perfectly representing the sentiment of the Krewe de Jeanne d'Arc...handmade items that we give, not THROW to the public.

It's one of the things that makes our parade a nice bridge between Christmas and Mardi Gras...we give gifts, we recognize Joan's Christian heritage, and we make cool stuff that's not plastic.

I mean, do you think it would have been cool if the Magi threw Baby Jesus some beads??? Okay don't answer that...

But do come to our parade in the hopes of catching stuff made by local hands.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Post-Parade Party: King cake, gypsy music & more!

We started a tradition last year in honor of Joan's birthday and Twelfth Night (January 6th) by asking people to bring cakes to share at her statue following the St. Joan of Arc Parade. Most brought King cakes, but there were some cupcakes and at least one birthday cake. Like last year, this year we are receiving a generous donation of King cakes from Gambino's Bakery, but given the crowd last year, we'll need more if everyone wants a piece! So bring what you want to share and prepare to hand it out at the party in honor of Joan's 598th birthday!
This year we'll have Joan of Arc crown a King at the statue and he'll help distribute the cake with Joan...
(It's just too cool how many things about Joan tie in naturally with Mardi Gras..she is our Maid and she was influential in crowning a King...her birthday is Twelfth Night..King cake=birthday cake, etc.!!)
Beyond cake there will be awesome music to dance to...stage will be a The Market Cafe, right behind the Joan statue, at 1000 Decatur. See you there!
6:45-7:45 Pierre Pichon and his Gyspy Swing Trio
8:00-9:00 Marc Gunn plays Celtic American musiC

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fabric Fans Unite! Free Costume Clinic January 3rd

Hands-on costume workshop at Joan of Arts Fete
visit fete schedule for details
Come ready to sew or at least come ready to get inspired...bring any and all material you can get your hands on, from your old sheets to those red curtains and beige tablecloths you stuffed in a drawer four years ago and haven't touched since...bring the funky fabric and trim you inherited from your Aunt Susan, and any and all items that you can contribute to the cause of making medieval costumes cheaply. Sweatshirts, sweatpants welcome...we can turn those into medieval looking items too!!

(We're fortunate Joan was born in medieval times and is not a Renaissance gal. It makes costume making much simpler...)

Whether you are a hopeful Krewe de Jeanne d'Arc member, a current member still figuring out what to wear as you stroll down Chartres on Twelfth Night, or someone just interested in learning more about how to turn thrift store stuff into authentic, fun costumes, join us from 12 noon to 4:oo p.m. at the Bienville House hotel in the Board room, a lovely cozy room just off the hotel lobby in this French Quarter boutique hotel. Come to 320 Decatur Street and ask for the costume clinic! Bring any sewing supplies you can...we want to be sure there's plenty of scissors, thread, and tape measures to go around!
(and hey if you're reading this and don't give a damn about making a costume but have fabric or sheets or whatever we can use that you want to dump on us, please do! email amy at and she will gladly take it off your hands!!)

Jeanne d'Arc Cabaret!! Medieval songs and More!

A prelude to the second annual St. Joan of Arc parade January 6, Twelfth Night

(New Orleans, LA—December 29, 2009)—The Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc announces the Jeanne d’Arc Cabaret, a culmination to their first annual Joan of Arts Fete, a free all-day conference about medieval culture, French culture, pop culture and Joan of Arc. Participants can choose from French language workshops, a medieval costume clinic, and presentations by local historians, artists, and members of the religious community about such topics as: “Joan and Prophecy”, “Joan as Muse” and “Medieval Culture: The Times in Which Joan Lived”.

Jeanne d’Arc Cabaret highlights include performances of medieval music by local groups Musica Da Camera and Wolmegut, theatrical performances about Joan of Arc, as well as a presentation of new songs written that day at the Joan of Arts Fete in a workshop led by local singer/songwriter Paul Sanchez.

The Fete is free and open to the public. The Cabaret is a fundraiser for the Krewe, in preparation for their expanded second annual St. Joan of Arc Parade, which includes fire dancers, an authentic medieval cart, two Joans on horseback, medieval musicians, and handmade throws including St. Joan medallions, decorated wooden swords, painted coins, and more.

For the full fete and parade schedule, visit To stay updated about all events, become a FACEBOOK fan of the Joan of Arc Project, and follow the Krewe blog at


7-7:15 p.m. Musica Da Camera plays medieval music
7:15-7:20 Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc welcome and announcements
7:20-7:30 p.m. NOCCA students perform a scene from George Bernard Shaw's SAINT JOAN play
7:30-7:40 ArtSpot Productions performs two songs from their 2004 performance piece "The Maid of Orleans"
7:45-8:00 NYC playwright Kathleen Kelly performs a theatrical work-in-progress from her plays about Joan
8:00-8:15 Musica Da Camera plays medieval music
8:20-8:30 NOCCA students perform a scene from Shaw's SAINT JOAN play
8:30-9:00 Paul Sanchez & songwriting students perform their newly written folk songs about Jeanne d'Arc and New Orleans! Audience votes on the best ode!
9:00-9:30 Wolmegut plays medieval music--great for dancing!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Willing to trade some muscle for krewe membership?

We have a hefty, historically authentic medieval cart that needs pulling...

It's the only thing resembling a float in our parade. But it needs human labor to get it going...this ain't no tractor pull...we're a walking parade with feet and horses and maybe a tiny wagon or two...

AND contrary to some misperceptions, we do have men and boys in our parade! It's by no means an all-female festivity...think about it. Joan's goal in life was to please God and crown the Dauphin the King of France. Along the way her comrades included the Bastard of Orleans and many many soldiers, pages, priests, and peasants.

In other words, Joan was surrounded by dudes and her success was largely due in part to them.

We still need and want more men to join and play any of the above roles...or even the ones not as friendly to Joan but still necessary to her history, like judges, bishops--even prison guards and executioners.

Contact Amy at if you want to join as any of the above--and if you're strong and willing to pull the cart with several others, we will waive your krewe membership!!!

(come on, it's only 8 blocks through the Quarter...)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Joan of Arts Fete pre-parade fest & krewe party January 3rd

The Joan of Arts FĂȘte Sunday, January 3rd
at The Bienville House Hotel 320 Decatur Street, NOLA, 70130

A pre-parade all day fest about all things Joan of Arc!

10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Panel discussions, conversations, workshops & member info—FREE!!!

***There will be a SILENT AUCTION at the Fete including amazing medieval-inspired artwork, Joan of Arc jewelry, books & related ephemera. All proceeds from the silent auction will be given to our krewe charity, Metro Battered Women’s Shelter. Come and bid throughout the day!***

5:30-6:30 p.m. Krewe Dinner Party at Iris Restaurant—$50 for Krewe members & friends. French meal & wine BYO wine. Reservations required by 12/31/09 @

7:00-9:00 p.m. Jeanne d’Arc Cabaret & Krewe Party—Open to the Public, free to Krewe members--$10 minimum donation @ the door!

All day 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Krewe Countdown: LAST CHANCE TO JOIN! Meet members of the Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc, sign up to walk with us, get your Joan swag and costume assistance! All day at the Bienville House Hotel at the Membership Table in the Vieux Carre Room!


10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Power French Workshop conducted by members of our local French cultural & educational center Alliance Francaise. Start the day off learning a few key French phrases, as well as some fun Joan of Arc related phrases to use during the parade. Meet Alliance Francaise members firsthand to learn more about this worldwide network’s local branch and how you can get involved.

11:15-12:15 Joan as Muse: A discussion of Joan’s inspirational influences and portrayals in various art forms, from the visual arts to the performing arts and film. Panelists include Janet Shea, local award-winning actress and the Assistant Department Chair in Theatre Arts at New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and Thais St. Julien, co-director, Musica Da Camera. NOCCA theater students who are currently studying and performing George Bernard Shaw’s SAINT JOAN will also join the conversation.


Make it Medieval: Costumes and More! Local costume designer Antoinette de Alteriis and other local designers and seamstresses assist last minute parade walkers with costumes. Those curious about joining and walking with us will have a chance to get inspired and learn some tricks about turning their current closet and/or recently bought thrift store clothes into medieval wearables. Also ongoing in this workshop room will be opportunities to assist with making throws and posters and other Krewe swag.

*** Participants need to bring some of their own costume materials. Email with any questions. We will send you a list of materials we’ll have available. Be brave! Come ready to be measured and make a costume in 4 hours or less! ****

12:30-1:30 Medieval Culture: The Times in Which Joan Lived: We know Joan was unusual, but what about her also made her “an average medieval girl”? What is the historical & cultural context in which she became Joan of Arc? Leading us in discussion is Dr. John T. Sebastian, Director of Medieval Studies at Loyola University, with Thais St. Julien, founding director of Musica Da Camera’s women’s chorus Vox Feminae, offering insights regarding her extensive research of women’s roles during the Middle Ages.

1:45-2:45 p.m. What Joan Means: Who She Was Then, What She Represents Now. Joan is viewed, used, admired, and beloved differently by different populations. While considered a feminist icon by some in the United States (although she was in fact more a woman of her times than we may admit), in France, she is utilized as a nationalist symbol and has been used by both sides of the political arena for centuries. Catholics finally named her a Saint 500 years after her death, and artists and writers endlessly evoke her in their work and obsessively study her. This discussion includes insights by New York-based writer and scholar Kathleen Kelly and New Orleans musician and French native Raphael Bas, both admirers of Joan, for different reasons.

3:00-4:00 Prophecy and Pilgrimage: Joan and the Bible. The test of a true prophet of God, according to the Bible, was 100% accuracy in all predictions. The penalty for making even one mistake was death. That’s a high standard to keep! Joan of Arc’s many detailed prophecies were famous even in her own day—but did she meet the Biblical standards of a true prophet of God? Author and composer Chris Snidow explores this fascinating aspect of Joan’s legacy. He and his French wife Catherine will also make a presentation about the Joan of Arc pilgrimages they lead to France annually.

4:15-5:15 p.m. Joan’s Canonization: It’s About Time! Sister Rita, OSC, of the local Poor Clares Monastery explains in laymen terms the processes we’ve all heard but don’t quite understand…just how does someone become a Saint? And why did it take so long for Joan to be named one? In conversation with author and musician Brian Morgan, OCDS, a formerly strictly-cloistered monk and now a Tertiary in the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites.

4:30-6:00 Songwriting Workshop. Led by local singer/songwriter Paul Sanchez, this workshop challenges local musicians to pen a spontaneous song about Joan and be ready to present it “American Idol” style at the Jeanne d’Arc Cabaret & Krewe Party that same evening! Bring your instrument and your creative energy to channel Joan, New Orleans style! Songwriters must commit to presenting their work to us!

7:00-9:00 Jeanne d’Arc Cabaret and Krewe Party : Musical Performances by New Orleans’ very own Musica da Camera, the oldest surviving early music organization in the country; singer/songwriter Paul Sanchez and members of his Joan of Arc songwriting workshop present their newly written odes; NYC writer and performer Kathleen Kelly presents pieces from her Off-Off Broadway play about Joan of Arc; NOCCA students present scenes from George Bernard Shaw’s SAINT JOAN! More entertainment to be announced! Drinks for sale and champagne toast to the Krewe! Help us get our groove on before the parade!
Celebrate our second year and Joan’s 598th birthday with us!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Parade throws: Medallions, Swords, and more!

This year our signature throws will be handpainted Joan of Arc medallions provided by These were our signature throws our inaugural year--and as we like to say, they weren't thrown! We are proud to be a walking krewe who hands out our few and thematic items (prayer cards, ceramic butterflies, matchbooks) with care--and sometimes on bended knee, as was the case w/ our medallion-giver Rob Clemenz last year!

NEW!!! We will also have 16 individually decorated wooden swords that our student "Maid of Honor" leading our parade will give out to parade-goers. These represent Joan's age of sixteen when she left home to fight the English, and the age she was when she found her legendary sword at the church of St. Catherine of Fierbois.

Another new special throw: Limited edition magnets with images of Saint Catherine, Saint Margaret, and Saint Michael (Joan's Voices) handmade by local Poor Clare Sister Rita, OSC, who sells her crafts at the Monastery gift shop Uptown on Henry Clay Avenue.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Authentic Medieval Cart in Progress!

Thanks to the efforts of one of our original krewe members (who participated in Joan brainstorming sessions long before we formed a parade) Molly Jahncke, Assistant Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Delgado Community College, we are going to have some wheels in the parade this year--historically accurate ones!!!

As a Service Learning project led by Director Sterling Brignac, participants in Delgado’s Building Crafts Apprentice Training program have created an authentic Medieval cart that will be donated for annual use in the Krewe of St. Joan of Arc Parade and related events.

The apprentice training program, created through a partnership of Delgado, LTC and The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment (U.K.) with the Preservation Resource Center and Louisiana Carpenters Union, is the nation’s first and only of its kind. Its aim is to create master craftsmen in the areas of carpentry/millwork, masonry, plastering, metalwork and stained glass who can apply their traditional skills to restoration and sustainable new building in New Orleans.

The carpentry/millwork apprentices, Vitto Ingerto, Michelle Martin, John Robert Portman, Ben Sanady, Phung Tran, J.A. Jaquet and Malcom Harding, have researched, designed and hand-built an historically accurate Medieval cart under the direction of Carpenter Journeyman Carl Treitler Jr. and master British artisans Steve Sinney and Kieran Wint.

The cart is crafted of reclaimed cypress and oak, rough hewn as it would have been in St. Joan’s time, and it will make its first appearance at the Joan of Arts Fete on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010.