Sustaining Our Stories & Storytellers is a FREE training series for storytellers active in the cultural economies of New Orleans. With a focus on community stories and research, as well as academic research and documentation, it will give our culture bearers more tools to be able to find and preserve important stories in our communities. By the end of the training, folks will have gone into their own communities, recorded a spoken story, and presented what they discovered to the rest of the class as their own spoken story.
This training is completely free with all materials provided.
I am a 7th generation Creole storyteller bringing you the stories that were passed on to me – and that I’ve experienced. My goal with every tour is to leave you just as much in love with New Orleans as I am. I am lucky to be a part of cultures and traditions unlike any other: blending African, Indigenous, French, Spanish and more together to create one of the brightest and most flavorful cultures in the world. Let me guide you into the many hearts of New Orleans, her celebrations and tribulations, from Gumbo to Gris-Gris. There are secret stories and living histories dancing through the streets. I’d love to share some of them with you.
~ Denise Augustine
I’ve been a Griot (West African term for storyteller and culture-bearer) guiding walking tours in New Orleans for more than 20 years – sharing the authentic cultures and traditions of New Orleans with visitors that whole time. I’m very active in the local Voodoo community and can often be found out and about as a Black Masking Babydoll. I learned the art of storytelling through years of sitting at my grandmother’s kitchen table prepping for dinner in a too small shotgun house in the Tremé. That’s where I found a passion for collecting and sharing the stories of our beautiful city.
To me, taking folks on tours isn’t just work – it’s a calling. There’s nothing I love more than seeing somebody’s eyes light up when they realize just how wonderfully complex and beautiful this city’s histories and cultures are. It gives me life every time.
Denise Augustine is a New Orleans treasure. She's a feisty raconteur, deeply knowledgeable about the history of the city, and able to build rapport with pretty much anyone. I cannot recommend her highly enough!
Grete Vidal, PhD
Harvard University African and African American Studies and Anthropology
"Denise possesses a wealth of knowledge and story. Her tours will transport you and connect you in ways you did not expect. A New Orleans treasure, not to be missed."
"Denise told story after story after story each one more interesting and colorful than the last. What makes Her tour a cut above all others is that every word is authentic history. As a history major in New Orleans, I thought I knew New Orleans, however I walked away from her tour feeling like I've had a private tutor and have earned college credit."
New Orleans Historian
"I’ve been on three tours with Denise. She made the history rich and alive. My favorite was the ghost tour - me and my family keep going back for more. She’s really good and entertaining"
"Denise is the most gifted storyteller I've ever met, and her stories are the real deal - full of the cultural gumbo that makes this city so beautiful. At the end of all her tours you will find yourself fully sated and hungry for more."
Cultural Producer and Strategist