Frank Perez is a writer, historian, educator, public speaker, small-business owner, and tour guide. He has authored four books: In Exile: The History and Lore Surrounding New Orleans Gay Culture and Its Oldest Gay Bar (with Jeffrey Palmquist), Treasures of the Vieux Carre: Ten Self-Guided Walking Tours of the French Quarter, Southern Decadence in New Orleans, and Political Animal: The Life and Times of Stewart Butler. He is also the co-editor of an anthology of personal essays titled My Gay New Orleans. He is a columnist for Ambush Magazine, French Quarter Journal, and Yaas Queen. His publications include a number of scholarly articles in academic journals, and a number of poems and short stories in various literary journals. In addition to writing, Perez owns a small business and is a licensed New Orleans tour guide. He earned his B.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1991 and an M.A. in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1997. A former Associate Professor of English, Perez now teaches part-time at Loyola University.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Kathleen Conlon has held an inebriated Mike Nichols' hand, was at Jim Nabors' 75th, and changed her Mama's Depends in white trash grey gardens. In between these extremes in glamour came Divaqueen Kathleen, the hosting chanteuse of the DQKshow on MNN-TV in NYC. Her Paleolithic French Quarter period found her the sole female member of the Drag/performance art group-DEMENTED WOMEN (two thirds of which were SDGMs). Waiting for the advent of fire, she learned the meaning of SOUTHERN DECADENCE. She is honored to be involved with the Archives Project and it's her intent to bestow the deserved respect to her many friends felled by AIDS, and the other hazards dealt the gay community of the late 20th century New Orleans.
Guy LaMothe has been a New Orleans cheerleader since arriving in 1992. Guy’s love of history and zeal for authenticity keep him connected to the Crescent City’s vibrant culture. Armed with a BA in History (’92) and a Master’s from Harvard Divinity School (’97), Guy was Ordained into Protestant ministry (’98), serving congregations over a twenty years period. As a practiced public speaker and a licensed tour guide ambassador, Guy now leads neighborhood walking tours; seeking to accurately portray the history, culture, and architectural heritage of New Orleans in ways that build greater understanding, increase civic enthusiasm, and convey current relevance. As a perpetual student of history, Guy is committed to preserving Queer history in all its diversity. He resides with his husband in their restored Faubourg Marigny home.
Jim Meadows, MSW, currently serves as Executive Director
of NOAGE. He received his Master of Social Work degree
fromTulane University in 2007, and has worked extensively in
the healthcare field. He is a volunteer for several New Orleans
area LGBT+ non-profit organizations. Passionate about LGBT+
advocacy and activism, Jim feels particularly strongly about
working on behalf of the elderly, and in honoring and
preserving the memory of those who fought for the liberation
of the LGBT+ community in Louisiana.
A Louisiana native, Jessica Troske is the Budget and Administrative Coordinator for the Newcomb College Institute. Troske has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in English Literature from Northwestern State University and is pursuing a Master‘s in Literature from her alma mater. While at Northwestern State University, she was an advocate for the LGBT community and was instrumental in starting Northwestern’s first LGBT organization, Lambda. Her current research project explores southern writer William Faulkner’s novels and the social construction of gender and race relations. For the last ten years, Troske has worked within non-profit and educational sectors. Prior to joining Newcomb College Institute, Troske worked as the Assistant General Manager for School of Rock in Denver, CO, as Logistics Manager for New Orleans based non-profit organization, marketumbrella.org, and the Administrative Assistant to the Curator for New Orleans art’s organization, the Contemporary Arts Center.Her close friendships within the LGBT community and beyond motivated her to join the LGBT+ Archives Project. She is thrilled to have this opportunity to ensure that their stories are accessible, heard, and properly preserved.
Aimee Everett is an Associate Curator for manuscript collections for the Williams Research Center of The Historic New Orleans Collection, where she has worked since 2007. After completing a BS degree in History and Geography at South Dakota State University, she moved to Baton Rouge where she earned a M.L.I.S. from Louisiana State University. She moved to New Orleans in 2007 to begin working as an Oral History Processor with The Historic New Orleans Collection, conducting oral history interviews and cataloging the 497 interviews conducted during the course of the Through Hell and High Water: Katrina’s First Responders Oral History Project. In 2009 she implemented an audio digitization program to preserve and make more readily available the audio recordings held by The Historic New Orleans Collection, including more than 500 hours of recordings made by noted jazz historian William Russell. She has served as the Treasurer for the Louisiana Archives and Manuscripts Association since 2013.
Robert W. Fieseler is a journalist and the author of Tinderbox, a history of the Up Stairs Lounge fire published by W.W. Norton/Liveright. Tinderbox was featured in The New York Times and on NPR and named a Best Book of 2018 by Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal. A recipient of the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship and the Lynton Fellowship in Book Writing, he graduated co-valedictorian from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Fieseler’s feature stories have been recognized in roundups of best nonfiction by The Atlantic, and his essays have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. A proud gay American, he married his longtime partner at Walden Pond and currently resides in New Orleans.
Melissa Smith joined LSU Libraries faculty as Assistant Curator of Manuscripts for Special Collections in late 2017. Prior to her time at LSU, Smith worked as a processing archivist, beginning with her first internship at Historic New Orleans Collection in the mid-1990s and professionally for the past fifteen years, starting with her position at the Louisiana Research Center at Tulane University’s Special Collections. Since her time at Tulane, Smith has also worked for Amistad Research Center and the Louisiana State Museum. A New Orleans native, Smith grew up in St. Tammany Parish where she also now makes her home with her 14-year old son, three cats, and dog. She received her Bachelor of the Arts in history from Loyola University of New Orleans with a focus in Louisiana history and women’s history. She received her Master of the Arts in history from the University of New Orleans with a focus on New Orleans history and African American history, specializing in African American education in New Orleans at the turn of the 20th century. Smith is a huge Saints fan, and in the past wrote for the football blogging site, www.chicksinthehuddle.com that was cross-published in the Huffington Post and Fox Sports. She also sits as a regular guest for the Saints News Network. Smith is the author of Historic Photos of New Orleans (Turner Publishing, 2007), Remembering New Orleans (Turner Publishing, 2010), and recently contributed chapters to a series on Mardi Gras Indians published by the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame.
Robert Ticknor is a Reference Associate for the Williams Research Center at The Historic New Orleans Collection, where he has worked since 2012. After completing a BA degree at the College of Charleston in History and Religious Studies, he moved to New Orleans in the summer of 2004 to begin a graduate program in Medieval European History at Tulane University. He completed a Master’s degree in 2007 and went on to work for the Lending Library at the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University as well helped arrange and process the Zemurray-Stone Archives held by the Stone Center. He spent over a year as a Curatorial Assistant working for the Louisiana State Museum on their Colonial Documents Digitization Project before arriving permanently at The Historic New Orleans Collection.
Eileen D. Tomczuk is a museum professional with more than ten years of experience in education, exhibit development, research, evaluation, and fundraising. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Urban Studies through the City, Culture & Community Program at Tulane University and her research focuses on spatial justice and community engagement in historic preservation. Eileen’s past roles include Curator of Education at the Louisiana State Museum, Research Assistant for the Children’s Museum Research Network, Project Manager for Public Engagement at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center in Seattle, and Grants Manager for the National WWII Museum. Eileen holds an MA in Museology and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Washington. She earned a BA with a double major in Art History and Film Studies from Tulane University. She is passionate about preserving and sharing LGBTQ+ stories and spaces.
Brooke Volkert relocated to New Orleans in 2014 from New York City, where she worked in theatre as an actor, producer, publicist, and grant writer. She led fundraising efforts with the LGBT Center to send queer youth to marches on Washington and to support local initiatives. With the Albanian American Association, she archived photos and narratives of women in the dwindling Sworn Virgin tradition. Most recently, Brooke worked as Tour Coordinator at The Old Globe in San Diego bringing free professional Shakespeare productions to prisons, shelters, and other community centers. Brooke holds a M.A. in Arts Administration from University of New Orleans and a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.