A historical marker recognizes an important local figure in the Gulf Coast arts culture.
- by Steve Barney
In awarding this prestigious official state historical marker, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History recognizes Carter Church Designs’ significance in local history as an important contributor to the arts, culture, and economic impact of the region.
Nelson Carter Church, best known for his elaborate Mardi Gras costumes, had his studio at this site in Bay St. Louis’s historic Depot District. In addition to creating costumes for Mardi Gras royal courts, Church and his husband, artist Yancy Pogue, played prominent roles in the Mardi Gras production industry from Mobile to New Orleans, and they actively supported the arts and culture of coastal Mississippi.
Event speakers will include representatives from The Arts, Hancock County, Hancock County Tourism, the Krewe of Nereids, the Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse, and Betsy Pogue Christianson, as well as others who personally knew Carter and Yancy.
In addition, the ceremony will include addresses from two noted Mardi Gras historians, Arthur Hardy and Dr. David M. Mulnick. Arthur Hardy, who publishes the award-winning Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide, has become the eyes, ears, and voice of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Over the past four decades his Mardi Gras brand is the most prominent authority in the nation on Mardi Gras culture and history.
Dr. David M. Mulnick is the Captain of New Orleans Knights of Sparta Mardi Gras Krewe and is an international authority on Mardi Gras. In addition to helping produce Mardi Gras balls, Mulnick lectures extensively and has been featured internationally in documentaries and films.
The dedication ceremony will also include a proclamation from Bay St. Louis Mayor Mike Favre, who said, “Carter and Yancy were instrumental in the growth of our vibrant local arts scene. The City of Bay St. Louis is proud to install this prestigious marker to commemorate their impact on our region.”
The official Mississippi Historical Marker program helps bring attention to community treasures (whether people or places) and to the importance of their preservation. Awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of our state’s history. This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of important art and cultural resources and to honor the impact local artists make to our vibrant community.
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