Please provide a brief (250 word) biographical sketch of the artist or a history of the company in question. For orchestras, please also include a biography of the conductor. This information will be viewable by the public.
Queen Cherice Harrison-Nelson is an educator, artist, and third generation Mardi Gras Indian. She holds a MA in education and post graduate training in cultural anthropology, additionally is the Queen of the Guardians of the Flame and curator of the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame. Production credits include: award-winning narrative short film, Keeper of the Flame, the video documentary, The Mardi Gras Indian Tradition: A View from Within, a Mardi Gras Indian music theatrical, “If You Don’t Like What the Big Queen Says, Just . . .” and the CD New-Way-Pocky-Way. She is registered with the Southern Arts Federation and was accepted into the Louisiana Artworks resident studio program. She has performed and lectured extensively throughout the world during the past 20 years. As one of the only female co-leaders, Queen Cherice is uniquely qualified to facilitate educational and entertaining shows of the highest caliber. Her original beaded creations are held in the private collections of Academy Award winning director Jonathan Demme, Noble Prize in Literature laureate Wole Soyinka, HBO’s Treme creators David Simon and Eric Overmeyer, former Mayor Marc Morial and Mrs. Ed Bradley. Harrison-Nelson strives to instill enthusiasm for learning and appreciation of the rich cultural traditions of Louisiana through the Indigenous Fine Arts Series, a program she developed in 1985. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, the Mayor's Arts Award, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ Teacher of the Year Award, Eve Ensler’s V-Day V-Warrior Award, and Offbeat Best of the Beat Education Award.
Please cut and paste quotes from reviews and other publicity. If none, please indicate.
The U.S. Department of State sponsored the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Collective from Louisiana, to come to the United Arab Emirates. … The highlight was the joint performance of the Mardi Gras Indians led by Queen of the Guardians of the Flame, Cherice Harrison-Nelson with the UAE Folklore dancers.
Embassy of the United States
Abu Dhabi, UAE
“Not Enough Indians”
When the coming spring semester begins she will be bringing in her neighborhood tradition bearers full force. Throughout the fall, African percussionist Luther Gray incorporated his drumming into math classes for all grades. Soon, members of the Guardians of the Flame and Trouble Nation tribes will begin visiting language arts classes. And representatives from social aid and pleasure clubs, including the Big Nine -- one of whom is a former third-grade student of Harrison-Nelson's -- will bring their traditions from the street into the classroom.
"That's done through the P.E. department," she explains. "They teach parade traditions like dancing, dirges, parade protocol and manners. If someone bumps into you, you don't start a fight. The thing about it is that they really want to come in the schools, and share the culture with the children. And some of the younger chiefs -- one would make all the young men stand up, and anyone who didn't have their shirt tucked into their pants had to go back outside and put it in. Then you get third graders saying to each other, 'Man, put your shirt in your pants, chief says to put your shirt in your pants. School is a microcosm of society. You don't just have to learn to read, you have to learn to get along with people."
Their influence is most widely felt in language arts classes, where the spectacle of the Indians and social aid and pleasure club marchers galvanizes kids to engage with what's being taught.
Gambit News Weekly
Please summarize the activities for touring or school activities.
School and touring activities include developmentally and/or audience appropriate interactive performances that educate about the rich cultural traditions of the Mardi Gras Indians through song, dance, ritual attire and storytelling. Performances can be structured to the needs of the presenter with regards to the number of performers, show content, instrumentation, and duration.
Do you provide a Teacher's Guide?
Please provide the details of your technical rider. Indicate where you have flexibility.
All performances require a secure dressing room with mirrors and artist amenities such as; cold water, light snacks, and clean towels.
In-school presentations require a sound system consisting of two speakers and three microphones, five is preferable. A sound system and engineer can be provided for an additional fee.
Out-of-town performances require a full backline system and an opportunity for rehearsal if possible at the performance venue.
Required to give a dollar fee range. Please indicate your range with concise descriptions of activities at the upper and lower ends of the scale
Fees dependent on the number of performers and show/presentation duration.
Within 50 miles of New Orleans - In-School performances $1,000 – $2,500.00
Out-of-Town Performances and Educational Presentations $5,000.00 - $10,000.00