Tuesday, April 16, 2013

UNO Kicks It Cajun Style with Amanda Shaw

Amanda ShawRenowned Cajun fiddler Amanda Shaw joins University of New Orleans students on campus next week for a cultural café, in which she will perform and share knowledge about
the Cajun culture.

Renowned Cajun fiddler Amanda Shaw joins University of New Orleans students on campus next week for a cultural café, in which she will perform and UNO students and faculty will share knowledge about the Cajun culture.

Shaw, an American Cajun fiddler, singer and actress will perform as a musical guest at "Cultural Cafe: Cajun Culture," slated from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23 at The Cove on Founders Road. The cultural café hosted by the UNO Office of Diversity Affairs is designed to introduce UNO students, staff, faculty and friends to Cajun history, culture, food and music. Cajun dishes will be served and the event will include a small exhibit by the Acadian Museum in Erath, La.

Shaw, a Covington native who attended Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans before becoming a fulltime professional musician, began studying classical violin at age 4. She has performed Cajun music professionally since age 8. At 19 years old, Shaw is considered by many to be a musical prodigy.

"She has recorded three critically-acclaimed albums, won a Big Easy Award for Best Female Entertainer and has even had two feature roles in Disney movies," according to her website. "The New Orleans native is a pioneer of the new breed of young, roots-based musicians who have embraced both the traditional sounds of Louisiana and the pop sounds of the mainstream."

The UNO Office of Diversity Affairs and Diversity Cabinet aims to create a university environment "where there is a healthy tolerance, appreciation, and respect for the broadest diversity of social and political opinion, intellectual point of view, and personal lifestyle," according to its mission statement.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the University of New Orleans ranks first in the state among public universities for ethnic and economic diversity.

Cajuns are an ethnic group descended from some of the first European settlers in North America. Exiles of France, the early settlers established a colony in Nova Scotia, Canada several years before the 1604 settlement of Jamestown, Va. Over time, the French-speaking Acadians made their way south. Today, the "Cajuns" make up a significant portion of South Louisiana's population and are a major influence on the state's culture.

From crawfish boils and outdoor festivals to lively music, dance hall magic, lilting language and an unending list of delicacies, the Cajun people have for several hundred years contributed significantly to a unique way of life.

Learn more about the UNO Office of Diversity Affairs >>
Learn more about Amanda Shaw >>