Barbara Lacen is a true “Cultural Bearer.” Her love for New Orleans culture has led to her involvement in Social Aid and Pleasure (S&P) Clubs for over 40 years. Coming from a family of musicians, second liners and Mardi Indians, she joined the Lady Jolly Bunch S&P Club at 25 years old and was one of the founders of the Lady Money Wasters S&P Club in 1979. She joined the Original New Orleans Lady Buck Jumpers in 1985. It is no surprise that Barbara expanded her cultural resume to become a Mardi Gras Indian queen.
Her experience in the traditions gave her the incentive to create the New Orleans Social Aid and Pleasure Club Task Force to protect and preserve the cultural institutions of second–lining, Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, brass band music, and spontaneous jazz funeral processions. These Institutions positively promote the cultural heritage of New Orleans to the world. An expert in these traditions, Lacen is one of the city’s most sought after lecturers by local and national universities. Her tireless commitment to contributing to her community, prompted her to create the New Orleans Social Aid and Pleasure Club Task Force. When asked why she felt this was important she stated. “It was my love and involvement that gave me the incentive to protect and preserve the cultural institutions of the city.”
Barbara is also a community activist and was appointed by former Mayor C. Ray Nagin to serve on his “Bring Back New Orleans” Commission Cultural Committee to ensure the legacy and cultural fabric of New Orleans was nurtured and preserved after Hurricane Katrina.