Passing of the Swords

Founder Amy Kirk Duvoisin announced to the krewe and press on Dec. 17, 2018, that after 10 years of serving as the Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc captain, she was handing the captain role over to Co-Captains Antoinette de Alteriis (formerly costume director) and Amanda Helm (formerly membership director). Nicknamed the “A-Team” by krewe members, the three will continue to work together with Duvoisin in the role of Founder and Captain Emeritus.

At the Dec. 17th party, Duvoisin (who is actually an official French knight of the order of Arts and Letters) ceremonially knighted the new captains with the following speech:

“It is an honor and a privilege (and a relief!!!)  to finally give these two talented, patient, and generous women the titles of Captains. They immediately jumped into the Joan saddle and  have been with us since the beginning.  For half of the krewe’s history they have carried the weight of the krewe and are responsible for its growth and extraordinary beauty. I have lived in a visionary dream where I can say “Hey, what if we did THIS…?” And the next thing I know, the most gorgeous papier mâché horses are born…a castle wall is built…an immortal birthday cake is baked. 

It takes a village to make a vision. I thank this NOLA village and all of you for allowing such crazy and beautiful ideas to happen and for believing in my Joan of Arc Project and this idea to celebrate Joan of Arc on her birthday with of all things, a parade.  This notion began small and simple with a rainy night procession but with a clear-as-day dream of creating a moving art piece and telling a story in the streets, NOLA style.

Call it divine intervention, call it post-Katrina NOLA, and consider the truth for us that “Joan always provides” but it takes REAL DEDICATION, SOULFUL SINCERITY, TIRELESS, THANKLESS, LONG IMMEASURABLE HOURS, BRAIN POWER AND HEART POWER to make a viable and sustainable “masterpiece” out of an idea. 

Amanda and Antoinette are the Masters behind the “Masterpiece.”*

And so tonight, as we head into our 11th year and our second decade, I will officially make them our new captains with this Prayer to Joan: 

Dear Joan, you have never failed us. You provide us with endless gifts of inspiration and love. Watch over these two women and give them strength, guidance, and faith, as they lead us into the next decade.  We are young and bold, fierce and focused like you. We are also full of grace, kindness, and faith. Fight with us and our army of artists and protect these leaders as they take us to newer heights of artistry and organization. Thank you Antoinette and Amanda for being the magnificent people that you are. I now crown you Captain A’s and wish you all the best! 

God Bless the A Team! 

* “Masterpiece” [as Times-Picayune reporter Doug MacCash called the parade in his 1/5/2018 article]