Sylvester Francis founded the Backstreet Cultural Museum out of devotion and passion for his culture. A self-styled “cameraman,” Francis is the visionary who has developed the Backstreet Cultural Museum as an institution that protects New Orleans’ African American traditional art forms and interacts with many audiences.

Sylvester Francis’ knowledge of New Orleans’ parading culture is highly regarded. He generously shares his wisdom about New Orleans’ culture with visitors, students of all ages, and anyone who expresses interest. He regularly gives presentations to schools and other organizations regarding New Orleans’ parading traditions.

The museum’s dream for the future is to secure a permanent home in the Tremé neighborhood and greater resources for the organization to fulfill its mission for years to come. The board of directors and Sylvester Francis have created a strategic plan to guide the organization’s development. In collaboration with the Tulane School of Architecture's City Center Program, we have developed a proposal to renovate and expand the museum’s facility.

For his contributions to preserving New Orleans’ cultural traditions, Sylvester Francis has received many accolades, including citations from the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans.


Sylvester Francis, Executive Director

Dominique Dilling, Co-Director

Board of Directors

Bruce Barnes, President

SherriLynn Colby-Bottel, Secretary-Treasurer

Jolie Préau, Secretary

Jackie Harris, Board Member

L’Oreal Evans, Board Member

Zada Johnson, Board Member

Remembering those who came before:
Vera Touro, Founding President & Drex Brumfield, Board Member

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