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  • Writer's pictureFrancine Cunningham

Conference time: New Orleans

In March of this year I headed down to New Orleans for The National Art Education Association 2015conference, where along with my research team Citizens of Tomorrow,presented my research on how marginalized youth use social media and digital media as a way to interact with issues surround their personal identities. The presentation was great and helped us to generate a ton of new ideas and gave us insight into new pathways of research.

There was also a lot of amazing food, incredible music and fun entertainment. I have never been to a city like New Orleans before. It was bustling every hour that I was there. It was nice and hot all day and cool in the evening, I think going in the spring helped. And it was just so alive. I really enjoyed myself. This will be a city that I visit again.

I don't know how many of you know this but I have been trying to learn to play the harmonica. I started in January of this year as part of my new year resolutions. For as long as I can remember I have loved the sound of the harmonica, the feel of blues and classic country, the richness it can bring to a piece of music. So I figured this is as good a time as ever to learn. The music that I heard was inspiring to say the least. Some of those guys could just riff forever. I was in musical heaven. I danced in the streets.

And the food. I don't think you can leave a city like that and not talk about the food. I ate alligator on my first day. I've decided to add reptile to my list of meats I eat because I also had turtle and both were amazing. And there was oysters, crawfish, shrimp, prawns —basically all forms of sea life and all were incredible. I went down with a bucket list of food to try and checked every single item off of it. Pecan pie, grits, biscuits and gravy, fried chicken with mashed potatoes, cornbread; the list is much longer but I won't bore you. Basically, go to New Orleans with lots of cash for food and cover for music.

Musically yours,



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