Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Appoints Tunica-Biloxi Leader as Board Member 

John Barbry brings decades of experience to prestigious organization that seeks to expand opportunities throughout Louisiana  

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana is proud to announce that the Director of Development & Programming, John Barbry, has been selected to the Board of Directors of Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH). Barbry will join a dynamic group of servant leaders for the next three years. 

LEH oversees and supports not only Louisiana’s history but also the state’s diverse and vibrant culture. The organization’s mission is to partner with communities, institutions and individuals to explore Louisiana’s rich history and realize every Louisianan’s full potential through the humanities. 

“I am profoundly honored to be part of an organization that works to enrich the body and soul of our community,” said John Barbry. “I look forward to working with a group of like-minded individuals who share that passion.” 

Similar to the mission of LEH, John Barbry has spent years preserving the history of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe for generations to come. He has served as director for the Tunica-Biloxi Language & Culture Revitalization Program (LCRP) since 2014. In 2016, he was appointed to manage the Tunica-Biloxi Education Department to provide tribal youth with resources needed to stay in school, perform better in school, become college and career-ready, and graduate. He then served as Research Supervisor in the manuscripts division at the Historic New Orleans Collection. Barbry was the first Native American appointed archivist at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in 1993. He earned a B.A. in Music Education from McNeese State University and an M.A. in History from the University of New Orleans. 

“I can think of no better individual than John Barbry for his honor,” said Tunica-Biloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite. “He is dedicated to the history and culture of our tribe and Louisiana, and will bring a high-level of expertise to the LEH Board of Directors. I know he will make the Tunica-Biloxi tribal community proud.” 

According to the LEH, their focus is to work with federal, state and local governments to improve educational outcomes and preserve the state’s cultural traditions. The organization has established a strong reputation with corporations and foundations and is trusted to deliver responsive, sustainable programs for and with Louisianans, such as the now-franchised Prime Time series of programs and 64 Parishes magazine and online encyclopedia. Also joining Barbry to the Board of Directors is Laura Prisco, the Coordinator of Programs and Services for fine arts at St. Tammany Parish Public Schools and is also the Chair of the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs. 

“Since 1971 the LEH has been recognized for its enduring statewide impact, including more than $132 million invested in Louisiana communities,” said Miranda Restovic, executive director and president of the LEH. “We look forward to continuing to seek out new opportunities to serve Louisiana alongside Mr. Barbry and Mrs. Prisco and are grateful for their passion and commitment to our state.” 

Barbry’s term on the LEH Board of Directors started on November 1, 2023.  

Leave a Reply