Spirit of Acadiana: Friends of Festival International

Sign Up At 'Festival Du Ami'
Festival International poster 2020
Posted at 8:24 AM, Feb 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 13:49:20-05

"I know that being an AMI I'm doing everything in my power to make sure that Festival has a future."

"the culture, the vibrancy…"

"and I want Festival to be there for my children and their children."

The lines above are direct comments from three Acadiana residents who have chosen to become Friends of Festival International.

Actually, you can put aside the world 'friend'; because in this world, supporters add a multi-cultural word to the support program: "AMI".

Let's backtrack a bit here:

Festival International is rapidly approaching, about two-and-a-half months away. Now, to make it all happen, organizers will rely on the kindness of strangers, on visitors. But they also need friends. Want to be a Festival friend? They can make that happen.

"So the 'Ami Du Festival' program is a donation-based program where individuals come and they become friends of Festival by making a donation," explains Festival International Development Director Candace Gulotta-Haggart. "The donation can be as little as $5.00; it can be as high as $500."

And those AMI… those FRIEND donations… ?? Those can be made monthly if that fits your budget.

So, what kind of people become friends of the Festival? There are doctors, lawyers, businesspeople, teachers… like Lafayette's NeeKee Hall.

"I'm an 'Ami'," smiles a very proud NeeKee Hall of Lafayette."It's probably one of the better decisions I've made in my years. Like volunteering for Festival, it's becoming a Festival Ami, one of the friends that help support and keep the friends of this Festival alive."

Festival International, you see, is a part of her life. Neekee regularly attended the downtown Lafayette cultural gathering as a child, then began volunteering right around 2010 or 2011. But her heart told her, 'Let's do more'. "And then I decided to become an Ami and support Festival as much as I can."

There are added perks, depending on your "Festival du Ami" support level. Sign up on the Festival International website…

And you can contribute five dollars, five hundred or perhaps even more.

"What if I walked up to you and said, 'I've got $500 million I'd like to really become a 'Super Ami', what do I get?" I asked Gulotta-Haggart.

"Ooo, I don't know. I'd say you can maybe get a stage," she laughs.

"Scott Brazda presents, 'Festival International'," I offer.

"Yes, absolutely, doesn't that ring a bell?" laughs Gulotta-Haggart. "That sounds really good in my ear."

***Sign up to become a Festival International Friend at ****

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