Jackson: In this context (read: political influence and potential legislation regarding advocacy for culture in our communities), I’d warn against defining Culture Bearer too narrowly.
That said, to me a Culture Bearer in New Orleans embodies our cultural traditions, protects those traditions, and helps transition those traditions in an ever-changing community moving forward in time and space. I think of four generations at an SAPC Second Line on Sunday. Mardi Gras Indians. For example, a culture bearer like Donald Harrison bringing Christian Scott into folds of New Orleans culture, and Christian then becoming a culture bearer in his own right while also progressively advancing the art, music and culture of New Orleans to new generations, and to those who don’t live in New Orleans, or to those whom have recently transitioned to New Orleans. A culture bearer keeps close in mind history, the present moment, and the future.
It is about preservation, sustainability, and evolution.