Yet Another Goofy Board Appointment

We get these in our inbox all the time from the Governor’s press office. We don’t post them all that often, because if we did it would hold the same level of interest as posting basketball scores from Bossier Parish Community College’s web site. And we try to be somewhat interesting around here.

But every once in a while, we run across an announcement that somebody got appointed to a board which points out how many obscure, goofy and dubiously useful governing and advisory bodies we actually have in this state.

And with that, here’s today’s exhibit.

Governor Bobby Jindal Announces the Appointment of Dana La Fonta to the Louisiana Folklife Commission

BATON ROUGE- Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced the appointment of Dana La Fonta to the Louisiana Folklife Commission.

The Louisiana Folklife Commission serves to help preserve the traditional cultural materials of a community learned outside formal institutions and handed down over generations. The cultural materials include language, traditional styles of architecture and land use, folk music and dance, folk medicine and beliefs, rituals, festivals, food, arts and crafts, oral history, tales, and myths.

According to statute, the commission shall be composed of twenty-one voting members, eighteen of whom shall be appointed by the governor and three of whom shall be ex-officio members.

Each appointment by the governor shall be subject to Senate confirmation.  The commission shall be composed as follows:

  • One member shall be appointed from the office of the state museum;
  • One member shall be appointed from the office of state parks;
  • One member shall be appointed from the Division of the Arts;
  • One member shall be appointed from the Division of Archaeology;
  • One member shall be appointed from the Division of Historic Preservation;
  • One member shall be appointed from a list of three names submitted by the membership of the Louisiana Folklore Society;
  • One member shall be appointed from a list of three names submitted by the membership of the Louisiana Folklife Society;
  • Four members shall be appointed from the faculties of state, public, and private colleges or universities from a list of twelve prospective members submitted by the secretary of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, all of whom shall have recognized professional expertise in folklife, anthropology, cultural geography, ethnomusicology, linguistics, museology, documentary media, or history;
  • Four members shall be appointed from a list of twelve names submitted by the secretary of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, all of whom shall have a demonstrated interest in the folk cultural traditions of the state; these members shall be chosen with regard to representation of major ethnic groups or regions of the state;
  • One member shall be appointed from a list of three names submitted by the board of directors of the Louisiana Preservation Alliance, Inc;
  • One member shall be the executive director of the Louisiana Committee for the Humanities or his designee;
  • One member shall be the director of the Louisiana Intertribal Council or a designee recommended by the council;
  • One member shall be the state librarian or his designee;
  • One member shall be appointed from the office of tourism; and
  • One member shall be appointed from the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.

Dana La Fonta, of Baton Rouge, is the Director of the Louisiana Divison of the Arts.  La Fonta will be appointed to serve as a member appointed from the Division of the Arts, as required by statute.

No offense to Miz (or Mr.) La Fonta, but does this board look like something we’ve got to have? The folk can’t preserve their folklife? We don’t have museums and schools which can do this kind of thing?

We’re not going to balance the state budget by eliminating the Louisiana Folklife Commission. But come on.



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