Honorary MusesThe Krewe honors a woman each year who embodies the spirit of one of the nine muses. Honorary Muses are chosen for having made a significant contribution to the New Orleans community.
2013 – Ruby Bridges
In 1960, Ruby Bridges was one of several black children in New Orleans who were the first to attend all-white elementary schools in the South. She was the subject of the famous Norman Rockwell painting depicting her first day of school, and is now chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which she formed in 1999 to promote the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences. Ms. Bridges tours as an inspirational speaker against racism.
2012 – Patricia Clarkson
New Orleans native Patricia Clarkson will serve as the Krewe’s first Honorary EveryMuse. Clarkson is a woman that demonstrates the attributes of all nine muse sisters and as a native New Orleanian she is an inspiration to all New Orleans girls and future Muses. Patricia is an Emmy Award winning and Academy Award nominated actress who has appeared and starred in countless film, television and theatre productions. A New Orleans native, Patricia is the daughter of Arthur Clarkson and Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson. After earning a Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama, Clarkson made her Hollywood debut in 1987 as Mrs. Eliot Ness in “The Untouchables”, acting opposite Kevin Costner. She has appeared in critically acclaimed films including, “Cairo Time”, “The Green Mile” and “Shutter Island”; television shows such as “Six Feet Under”; and theatre productions including, “The Maiden’s Prayer” and “A Streetcar Named Desire”.
2011 – Terpsichore – Liz McCartney
Our 2011 Honorary Muse is Liz McCartney, Director of Development and Co-Founder of St. Bernard Project, a non-profit organization that rebuilds storm-damaged homes and lives in St. Bernard and Orleans Parishes. And we are not the only ones who are proud of her accomplishments and dedication: Liz was named the CNN Hero of the Year in 2008 for her work with the St. Bernard Project. Liz was born and raised in Washington, DC, but is now a proud New Orleans resident. Liz and the SBP team have rebuilt over 350 homes in the New Orleans area and also provide free mental health services to uninsured residents. Liz will be riding with Pamela Johnson, whose house will be rebuilt by St. Bernard Project with funds raised by Muses.
2010 – Calliope, Muse of Eloquence and Poetry – Mary Matalin
Matalin has served as political advisor and strategist for several presidential administrations, authored two national bestsellers, and hosted her own critically acclaimed television and radio public affairs shows. She currently serves as a CNN contributor and the Editor-in-Chief of the Simon and Schuster imprint, Threshold Editions.
Mary and her husband, political consultant James Carville, moved to New Orleans with their two daughters in 2008 and quickly became involved in the City’s community affairs and rebuilding efforts. She serves on the boards of the Academy of the Sacred Heart and Bureau of Governmental Research, and is a member of Women of the Storm. Strong supporters of New Orleans and its promising future, Matalin and Carville were chosen as co-chairpersons of the 2013 Super Bowl Host Committee.
2009 – Melpomene, Muse of Tragedy – Kimberly Rivers Roberts
Kimberly Rivers Roberts is the star of the award-winning Katrina documentary “Trouble the Water,” with first-person footage during the storm shot by Roberts with a hand-held camcorder she had purchased on the street only days before the storm. The movie tells the story of Roberts, who is also a bounce hip-hop artist known as BlackKoldMadina, as she was trapped in her Ninth Ward home during the storm and her family’s ordeals during the storm’s aftermath.
Kim’s performance in the movie has been lauded on a national level and the film was on many end-of-the-year top ten lists. Her indominatable spirit and her unstintingly honest and cogent observations about her experience reveal her as one of the heroes of Katrina and a role model for all women on how to rise above horrific circumstances and truly succeed.
2008 – Polymnia, Muse of Sacred Song – Marva Wright
Known as Louisiana’s Blues Queen, “Marvelous Marva” is a gospel and soul powerhouse. She has performed in venues all over the world – including the U.S., France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Russia, Norway, Sweden, and Brazil. Wright has collaborated with many talented musicians including Harry Connick Jr., Bobby McFerrin, Aaron Neville, Fats Domino, Lou Rawls, and Marcia Ball.
2007 – Erato, the Muse of Poetry – Brenda Marie Osbey
Brenda Marie Osbey, the Poet Laureate of the State of Louisiana, has taught numerous literature subjects around the country and has twice been appointed visiting writer-in residence at Tulane University and scholar-in-residence at Southern University. She has conducted seminars and colloquia in literature, creative writing and New Orleans black culture. A native of New Orleans, Brenda is the author of All Saints: New and Selected Poems (LSU Press, 1997), which received the 1998 American Book Award. She is the author also of Desperate Circumstance, Dangerous Woman (Story Line Press, 1991), In These Houses (Wesleyan University Press, 1988) and Ceremony for Minneconjoux (Callaloo Poetry Series, 1983; University Press of Virginia, 1985). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, anthologies and collections.
2006 – Urania, the Muse of Astronomy – Becky Zaheri
Muse Becky Zaheri is the founder of the Katrina Krewe. The Katrina Krewe has organized over 1,000 volunteers to clean up the streets of New Orleans twice a week. Muses is proud to be able to honor one of our own members with a ride in the fabulous shoe float.
2005 – Euterpe, the Muse of Music – Charmaine Neville
Charmaine began her career backing up the Neville Brothers and went on to perform with the Survivors, a band whose alumni list includes Harry Connick Jr. and Bobby McFerrin. Time Magazine named Charmaine Neville, the best pair of lungs [in New Orleans], and stated that her “delightful scat-singing and good-humored blues … had visitors dancing in the aisles at the Snug Harbor bar.” Her work has paid off – as one reviewer recently wrote, “Charmaine Neville is beginning to rival her father and uncles in terms of popularity in New Orleans.”
2004 – Thalia, the Muse of Comedy- Becky Allen
2003 – Terpsichore, the Muse of Dance- Maria Giacobbe
2002 – Clio, the Muse of History- Cherice Harrison-Nelson