Up Stairs Lounge Fire 50th Anniversary Commemoration Activities Announced
New Orleans, La. —A coalition of local organizations spearheaded by the LBGT+ Archives Project of Louisiana will present a weekend of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tragic 1973 Up Stairs Lounge fire. The events will take place in various locations in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans on June 23, 24 and 25, 2023.
Why the LGBT+ Archives Project Matters
- Queer history has been ignored for too long
- History offers us lessons and teaches us the power of activism
- Understanding our history helps us feel connected and gives us an understanding of ourselves
- An understanding of history combats stereotypes
- Our contributions have gone unrecognized. By filling in gaps in the historical record, we are reclaiming our heritage
- LGBTQ youth are at a higher risk of suicide. History provides validation and support and helps youth feel less invisible and alone
LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana
Our mission is promoting and encouraging the protection and preservation of materials that chronicle the culture and history of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community in Louisiana.
Our main purpose is educating the community on the importance of archiving LGBT+ historical materials and making them available for future generations to access, research, and study. By developing financial resources to assist in the preservation and availability of certain LGBT+ collections, we hope to help promote the proper maintenance and preservation of historical LGBT+ materials and then index, publish, and maintain a current list of these materials and where they are located.
1308 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116
What People Are Saying
What other city has Gay Carnival and Southern Decadence, and the Up Stairs Lounge fire, not to mention all the colorful characters and interesting bars that have come and gone? Our LGBT+ history is fascinating and needs to be preserved. Thankfully, the Archives Project is doing just that.
The mission of the LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana is not just a set of goals. It is a calling shared by its members, many of whom have seen the personal archives of their own friends lost or deliberately discarded. This calling directly led to the creation of this essential organization that has already stepped in to save numerous invaluable collections that will serve historians and researchers for generations to come.
The LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana is doing a lot of important work that others are not doing. Future generations, including scholars and artists, will certainly benefit from the history the Archives Project is preserving.
Researchers a hundred years from now will thank their lucky stars for the work the Archives Project is doing today.
Louisiana has a diverse population and storied history. I’m impressed not only with the organization’s mission but also its commitment to inclusion in the execution of that mission. The Archives Project is dedicated to shining a humane light on the numerous LGBTQ+ communities and experiences in our state.
The LGBT+ Archives Project ensures the preservation of collections by connecting donors with repositories eager to care for their materials. The Archives Project also helps to defray the costs of their ongoing care through grants which have subsidized processing, and in some cases digitization.
The organization not only seeks out subjects to interview and to record their histories for future generations, but it also provides invaluable training to both undergraduate and graduate students in Louisiana and Mississippi in the methodology of oral history and research.
As part of our mission, we have had the honor of working with the Archives Project in multiple instances to document, commemorate, recognize, and celebrate Louisiana’s LGBT history. The Archives Project has positioned itself as a leader in this area, from assisting individuals considering the placement of their personal papers with area archives to rich public programming to its own grant support for various projects documenting the state’s queer history.
New Orleans Area Organizations
Donating Your Collection to an Archive/Repository
LGBT+ Themed Websites
The LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana acknowledges the area now known as Louisiana was once home to a variety of Native Peoples, including, but not limited to, the Choctaw, Ishak, Natchez, Caddo, Chitimacha, Coushatta, Houma, and Tunica-Biloxi. We further acknowledge the enduring presence of Native Americans in Louisiana and recognize their contributions to the cultural heritage of the state. Colonial visitors in the Gulf South observed that Indigenous Nations recognized and respected the existence of more than two genders and conducted marriages between people of the same gender. The legacy of acceptance of LGBT+ people has a deep history locally, for which we salute Native American Nations.