A Call to Spread Enlightenment

Dear Comrades,

You are being called into service to fight the dark ages of our times.  As intervention, I offer up The Goddess Fortuna and Her Dunces, In an Effort  to Make Sense of It All  – a multimedia project inspired by John Kennedy  Toole’s novel Confederacy of Dunces – with mandate to spread  joyous enlightenment throughout the swamp and beyond into the continental wilderness.

HNOC Tableaux sketch

Project Fortuna is hosted by the esteemed Historic New Orleans Collection and  will be installed within the treasured Brulatour Mansion and Courtyard in the heart of the French Quarter across the street from HNOC main headquarters at 520 rue Royal. The Brulatour is also the fitting location to host this art installation, for it once served as the site of the city’s first visual arts organization in the 1920s and 30s.

This upcoming Brulatour Mansion Goddess Fortuna art Installation is Part One of a Trilogy (just like Star Wars and Rings, ha ha!) and will open on the evening of October 22nd by invitation to key supporters with a collaborative performance with the UNO Jazz Orchestra at sundown.  It is my hope that you will be there with me to celebrate the project’s launch. Part One staging will focus on that which inspired the book’s title, with considerable tribute to Toole, the fourth-century medieval Philosopher Boethius and their guiding light the Goddess Fortuna, a gal frequently summoned throughout the pages of Dunces as the counsel to beloved Ignatius as he plows through his novel-worthy fate.

Cast to star as leading lady Goddess Fortuna is none other than Big Freedia, Queen of New Orleans Bounce. In the historical tradition of the world’s greatest oracles, Big Freedia will shake, rattle, and roll into a foretelling future of transcendence!  Joy-filled higher consciousness will trickle down to the rest of us, her subjects, in an effort to make sense of it all, when what’s under her big skirt begins to spin our wheel of fortunes!

Now comes that awkward part…”she is going to ask for money.”  And thus, to steward  any remaining fortunes following the drop of the Dow, I have set up a tax-deductible non-profit project account with National Performance Network (NPN) for this independent project. I ask you to give generously if you can – all under the fiscal management of NPN. I know if you contribute you do so to help me, but in return I wish to give generously to you – with a range of artworks, mementos or bombonieres that correspond to your donations. (This might spare you holiday shopping agony and make me feel less creepy about asking for money.)

Your contributions will help further enlightenmentand realize the Goddess Freedia video production, key sound and lighting manifestations, and an array of sculpture components and exhibited prints including The Golden Lucky Dog, The Ignatius Reilly Wet Bed FountainJones’ Black Glove, 66 life-size Dunces,The Characters of a Confederacy Scroll and A Different Face Behind Each Mask Print Portfolio. I am also producing a hand-written visual translation of Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius and a Death Mask of John Kennedy Toole.

Additionally, I am hopeful that funds secured will underwrite free outdoor projections of Big Freedia dancing as Goddess Fortuna on large walls throughout the city. Big Freedia is immensely popular, notably among those of our citizenry that might not have  the means to view the exhibition. This is a way for us Lucky Fellows to apply the  strategies of public art to spread the joy (and art) beyond the courtyard walls! This aspect of the project – reaching a broader demographic and offering higher sponsorship visibility – seems ripe for corporate underwriting.  Here I welcome your suggestions and introductions.


I have also officially established The Lucky Fellows – created for our wonderful circle  of like-minded colleagues who value culture and culinary spectaculaires such as my recent Wet Land Table Feast produced in 2008, and my early career tribute to Oscar Wilde, Feasting with Panthers, produced in 1982.

A spirited decree and invitation to join The Lucky Fellows is offered to tempt you to embrace that which is unnecessary but essential. For Lucky Fellows membership I hope you can donate at least $1,000 cash or equivalent in-kind services.

The inaugural gathering of THE LUCKY FELLOWS will be a sunset event on October 22nd with offerings of gourmet sausages, spirits and song, to be followed by a larger performance work and formal dinner inside the courtyard later in the year.

Donations can be made through NPN’s “Donate Now” button on this website.

In signing off I extend my solemn pledge to remain steadfast.  Your matron at the front line, in this campaign to restore Moorish dignity….

Dawn DeDeaux

all images are the property of Dawn DeDeaux

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