Editor’s Note

Melanie3 Web

In 2019 we published our first installment of Acadiana Trailblazers. The concept was simple: Find Acadianians doing impressive things. Thankfully, that part was simple. It comes as no surprise that there are a lot of people in Acadiana who are shaking things up, forging a new path and lifting others up as they do it. The hard part isn’t locating these individuals. No, no. The hard part is narrowing down the list. The folks we picked (with the help of your online nominations) are talented, driven, creative and inspire everyone with whom they come into contact. They certainly inspire me. I hope you agree and feel a little more motivated toward your own dreams after reading about our 2022 Acadiana Trailblazers.

Much like the trailblazers keeping the spirit of Acadian ingenuity alive, our music makers feature is an exploration of the artisans in Acadiana who are keeping the tradition of instrument making alive. Writer and photographer Kevin Rabalais traveled the region in search of instrument makers and musicians, as well musicians who are instrument makers. The result is a gorgeous deep dive into a part of the culture that is so ingrained and important, it permeates every fiber of the region. Music is in Acadiana’s DNA and, much like an appendage, the instruments made here are simply an extension of the people creating and playing these beautiful works of art.

While design, art, fun things to do, music and Cajun culture in general are of course always a big part of Acadiana Profile, at its heart, this magazine is about people. Often, it’s about people helping people. Which is another easy thing to find in Acadiana. If you need a hand, Acadiana is the place to find it. Acadianians help their neighbors. So much so, they even often help their neighboring states and the neighboring states of those states. The history of the people of this region — from Acadians fleeing their homeland to countless historic natural disasters — means that Acadianaians know what it’s like to need help, so they give it freely when other’s need it, too. In that spirit, to accompany our annual Top Lawyers list this year, we’re shining the spotlight on a group that uses their education, expertise and time to help people who otherwise couldn’t afford their services. The Lafayette Bar Foundation exists to do just that and a group of lawyers within the foundation focuses its efforts on helping abused women. Reading about the important, uplifting and lifechanging work of this group is sure to change everything you thought you knew about law and the justice system.
Now, I’m well aware that some of you are just here for the food photos and recipes or to find out what restaurant you should visit next, so if that’s your thing, we have you covered, too. I get it!

Meanwhile, the spring weather is drawing us out and about, our favorite festivals are back and, as ever, it’s a great time to be in Acadiana. Enjoy the issue and the season.


Melanie Warner Spencer
Managing Editor




For our music makers feature, writer and photographer Kevin Rabalais traveled the region to get at the heart of Acadiana’s tradition of instrument makers. Their work permeates every aspect of Acadiana’s culture, such as the Courir de Mardi Gras at Mermentau Cove. Pictured here is Jerrett LeBlanc during the run.



International and Regional Magazine Association

Gold Art Direction of a Single Story
Silver Covid Related Story
Silver Food Feature
Bronze Overall Art Direction
Gold Overall Art Direction
Silver Art and Culture Feature
Silver Recreation Feature
Bronze Food Feature
Bronze Profiles
Bronze Art Direction of a Single Story
Winner Magazine of the Year
Gold Overall Art Direction
Gold Art Direction Single Story
Gold Photo Series
Silver Photographer of the Year
Gold Overall Art Direction
Gold Magazine Photographer
Gold Art Direction of a Single Story
Gold Food Feature
Gold Department
Silver Magazine Writer of the Year
Silver Hed & Dek
Silver Photo Series
Gold Overall Art Direction
Gold Magazine Photographer of the Year
Gold Art Direction of a Single Story
Gold Food Feature
Silver Cover
Gold Overall Art Direction
Gold Magazine Photographer of the Year
Gold Art Direction of a Single Story
Silver Photo Series