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Forum takes closer look at role of women in Carnival

Loyola press release - January 30, 2015

The popular Mardi Gras phrase “throw me sumthin’ mister!,” has been around for decades, but increasingly, the prevalence of women in Mardi Gras has changed the face of Carnival. Beyond the king cake, bead tossing, marching bands and activities that accompany Mardi Gras, women actually play a significant role in all the festivities.

On Monday, Feb. 9, Loyola University New Orleans will host "Mardi Gras Forum: The Women of Carnival,” a forum featuring leaders from Carnival krewes such as Iris, Muses, DIVAs and the Society of St. Anne. The forum will take place at 5 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium, located on the third floor of Monroe Hall. It is free and open to the public. The event will also be livestreamed at www.livestream.com/loyolauniversity.

The event, hosted by Loyola Professor of Video Technology Jim Gabour, will show another side to the women in the global attraction. From female krewes, to marching groups, to the individual women who are central to Carnival, each role will be explored in this festive forum, which will include costumed guests.

Representatives from two parading krewes will be on hand, including Iris, the oldest all-women parading krewe, as well as Muses, one of the most successful and largest contemporary krewes rolling today.

The forum will also feature leaders from two marching krewes, including DIVAs, the krewe known for their hand-beaded costumes and Friday-before-Carnival march through the French Quarter as well as the leader of the largest Mardi Gras day marching krewe, the Society of St. Anne.

Gabour aims to show that the women's contributions to Mardi Gras go much deeper than all its stereotypes.

"Women’s contributions and long history of participation in Carnival is so often ignored. We want to showcase women’s unique development of their own ideas and interests in the Mardi Gras season, and emphasize the importance of women to contemporary Carnival," Gabour said.

For more information, contact James Shields in the Office of Public Affairs.