COLEEN SALLEY 2018-06-01T10:16:28-05:00

Project Description

THE ICON: Coleen Salley

THE LEGACY: “She loved books & children.” That’s the inscription on Coleen Salley’s headstone. And for all of her other accomplishments — educator, author, teller of tales — those five words perfectly and succinctly summarize what made the colorful New Orleans storyteller tick. Known as much for her gravelly drawl as for her outsized personality, she performed over the years at countless children’s events — some as far away as China and Egypt — and for more than a decade was an annual fixture at Jazz Fest Children’s Tent. So great was her storytelling prowess, and her reputation, that Walt Disney Animation dedicated 2009’s “Princess and the Frog” to her, as a woman “whose strength, wit, and character embody the spirit of New Orleans.”

THE ARTIST: Connie Kittok, WhereYart.net

THE INSPIRATION: “If she found somebody that she liked, she would basically go out armed to the teeth for them. It was like suddenly you had a new force of nature on your side. There was air and water and fire and there was Coleen — and she would be as constant as those on your behalf.” — Children’s author William Joyce