LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana President and Ambush columnist Frank Perez will incorporate local LGBT+ history into three courses he is teaching at Loyola University this fall.
Loyola University began offering Professional Tour Guiding courses last year as part of a new initiative to accommodate the city’s growing tourism industry as well as to address increasing concerns that many of the newly licensed guides on the streets have not been properly trained.
The city of New Orleans currently mandates that any guides who are paid for giving tours have a city issued tour guide license. At present, there are only three requirements to be issued a license: pay an application fee to the city, pass an FBI background check, and score a 70% on a written test. Students who successfully complete the first course at Loyola will have the city test waived.
Professional Tour Guiding 1 begins on September 9 and meets on Monday nights through November 15. Designed for people who are preparing to take the New Orleans Tour Guide Permit exam or just want to learn more about the city, this course is a rich exploration of New Orleans’ colorful history and the tourism industry. Students participate in classroom sessions and two field trips that are guided walking tours of the French Quarter and the Garden District. Classroom sessions consist of instructor lectures, guest speakers, and student presentations. Students also have the option to take the Tour Guide Permit exam for the City of New Orleans on the last night of class. Cost is $395.
Professional Tour Guiding 2 begins on September 10 and meets on Tuesday nights through October 29. The focus of this course is research and story-telling. Students will learn techniques and resources to enhance their research and storytelling skills and build better tours. Class sessions will consist of lectures, workshops, and guest speaker presentations from research facilities such as The Historic New Orleans Collection, Louisiana Research Collection, New Orleans Public Library, the Notarial Archives, the Archdiocese Archives, Newcomb College Institute, the Louisiana State Museum, and Amistad Research Center. Students will choose one subject to investigate and give a report on that topic at the end of the class. The last class meeting is a field trip with guided walking tour. Cost is $195.
French Quarter History begins on November 5 and meets on Tuesday nights through December 17. This class focuses on the history of the French Quarter as both the original city of New Orleans and its shifting role as the city’s flagship neighborhood. While the French, Spanish, and early American periods are covered, the emphasis of the course is on 20th century history. Topics include, but are not limited to: architecture, historical preservation, colorful characters, the rise of tourism, literature and arts, drinking culture, crime and vice, and LGBT+ history. The last class meeting is a tour of the French Quarter. Cost is $245.
The courses have been designed by will be taught by local historian, licensed tour guide, and Ambush columnist Frank Perez. Perez has a long history of experience in both education and tourism. A former Associate Professor of English, Perez taught Tour Guiding courses at Delgado Community College and created that college’s French Quarter History course. He is also a long-time tour guide, a volunteer with the Friends of the Cabildo, and for several years has owned a tour booking agency. Perez is also a member of the Sustainable Tourism Task Force, a collaborative effort among local residents and tour professionals to address the potentially harmful effects of an over-saturated tourism market.
The courses will be offered through the Division of Professional and Continuing Studies and are non-credit. More information here: http://pcs.loyno.edu/programs/non-credit-courses