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La. congressional map battle heads to U.S. Supreme Court; NOLA pianist pushed boundaries

Genevieve Pitot plays piano in an undated painting.
Courtesy of Denise Tullier-Smith
Genevieve Pitot plays piano in an undated painting.

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for our look at the week in politics. Joining us is Stephanie Grace, the Times Picayune/The Advocate’s editorial director and columnist.

This week, we’re discussing the latest news in the legal saga around Louisiana’s new congressional district map. We’ll also get an update on Gov. Jeff Landry’s efforts to hold a constitutional convention this summer.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students’ rights are at the center of another clash between Landry’s administration and President Biden.

Late last month, the state’s Republican attorney general, Liz Murrill, sued the federal government alongside several other Republican-led states over changes to Title IX. The 1972 law prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programs. And protections now explicitly apply to LGBTQ students.

Louisiana’s top education official Cade Brumley called the new rules “radical” and has told school districts to not follow them.

To help us get up to speed, we’re joined by Aubri Juhasz, WWNO/WRKF’s education reporter.

The French Quarter in 1920’s New Orleans was part slum, part tourist trap, and part incubator. It was a time of rebellion and freedom, of prohibition and free-flowing alcohol. One informal group of residents and friends at that time included William Faulkner, Sherwood Anderson, and Caroline Durieux.

Among them was Genevieve Pitot, a young pianist, trained in Paris, and described by one group member as crazy as could be.

Pitot was a piano prodigy whose travels also took her to New York where she worked with some of the formative choreographers of the early 20th Century, the Federal Dance Project of the Great Depression, and then Broadway.

Denise Tullier-Smith, Pitot’s niece, joins the show to preview her upcoming lecture about the pianist at the Pitot House in New Orleans.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Bob Pavlovich. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber; our contributing producers are Matt Bloom and Adam Vos; we receive production and technical support from Garrett Pittman and our assistant producer, Aubry Procell.

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:00 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

Louisiana Considered wants to hear from you! Please fill out our pitch line to let us know what kinds of story ideas you have for our show. And while you’re at it, fill out our listener survey! We want to keep bringing you the kinds of conversations you’d like to listen to.

Louisiana Considered is made possible with support from our listeners. Thank you!

Bob Pavlovich, a long-time fill-in host for New Orleans Public Radio, joined the station full-time in 2023. He hosts "All Things Considered" and "Louisiana Considered" on Thursdays.