THE ICON: Sandra Dartus
THE LEGACY: Tell Sandra Dartus about an event or place that needs celebrating, and she’ll build a festival around it. She was the first director of the French Quarter Festival, which has continued to grow since its 1984 debut, and she was a founder of New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, a German festival, Satchmo SummerFest and Christmas New Orleans Style, which includes reveillon dinners, a Creole tradition she helped revive to boost what had been sagging restaurant business during the holiday season. Dartus also has worked with FestiGals, a summer festival begun in 2011 to educate and inspire women while raising money for women’s causes — just one more example of one woman’s hard work to make sure the good times keep rolling for the rest of us.
THE ARTIST: Sean Randall
THE INSPIRATION: “I’m one of those people who really like their job. I live in a city I’m proud of, and in the Quarter, where you may not know everyone by name, but you know the faces and they know yours. Everybody says, ‘Hello, how you doin’, you OK?,’ and I never fail to walk down the street and notice something new; this city is always an experience. But you know what the truly neat, really great thing is about New Orleans? Everybody wants to be here!” — Sandra Dartus, in a 1999 interview with The Times-Picayune.