"I am Sarah Gauthier Roy, and I am running for Lafayette City Council."
I was born and raised in Carencro, am a graduate of Carencro High School (Go Bears!), and hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (Go Cajuns!). I am married to Justin Roy, a graduate of Northside High School and the University of Illinois, and we are raising 3 amazing children, Juliet (8), Imogen (5), and William (3) in my great-grandparents' 102-year-old home. Since my return home in 2006, I’ve been devoted to being engaged in Lafayette. As a mother, I want to expose my children to all of the wonderful gifts that our city has to offer. The more engaged I became, the more involved and invested I became. I was called to be a maker in this community.
I have been teaching in public schools for the past 9 years in the Talented Arts Program. I began teaching in Iberia Parish is 2010, then moved to Lafayette Parish in 2014. I have the honor of teaching children in grades K-12 as a teaching theatre artist. The Talented Program is a State funded program under special education where students who qualify receive services in their talent area: music, theatre, or visual arts. These students are taught skills within the arts by professional working artists within their field. It is truly a gem within our public school system allowing children who excel in the arts to receive individualized education enhancing their gifts. Since I began teaching I have reached over 350 students at over 37 schools. I have an inside look into the happenings of several schools within our school system, and am privileged to be a part of enhancing the lives of so many young people. You can find out more about the program here.
In 2016, using my experience in performing arts, my love of South Louisiana culture, and my drive to teach that to my own children, I founded Theatre Acadie, a cultural community arts company. Since 2016, I have worked with Kirby Jambon, a French language teacher and cultural guru, to teach performance and French language to children ages 3-12. We did this through after school classes and summer camps. During summer camps, the children learn and perform a play written by myself incorporating cultural themes, such as the Cajun Mardi Gras and the deportation of the Acadians, into folk tales implementing French language. With Theatre Acadie I was also able to offer a theatre intensive in French led by French theatre teacher Christian Renault from Barcelona. I was also able to work with Megan Brown teaching music, play, and French language to children ages 3-5. My work in Theatre Acadie led me to be a part of the Louisiana Folk Roots Kid's Camp every year, bringing theatre to the students of the kids camp. You can find out more about Theatre Acadie at theatreacadie.com
In the Fall of 2017, inspired by a tradition shared with me by friends from Europe, I created Lafayette's first Lantern Parade. Lantern Parade's in Europe are a celebration of the shining light and life of St. Martin of Tours. St. Martin is the patron saint of Veterans and in the US we celebrate Veterans day on the same day. I teamed up with the American Legion and Downtown Development Authority to host the event and celebrate families and veterans. The evening began as a part of Downtown Alive! with the Theatre Acadie students performing a play written by myself of St. Martin of Tours inside of the Children's Museum. The American Legion post 69 president and I awarded veterans who were nominated by the community to be the Grand Marshall of the Lantern Parade. Families came to Downtown Alive!'s Children's Area in the Children's Museum to build lanterns out of donated reused 2-liter bottles. At 6:00, when the sky became dark, our Grand Marshall, Ben Bowie, community volunteer and WWII Veteran, led the children with the lanterns through Parc International while we sang our Lantern song, and shined our lights throughout our community. It was a truly magical time and I look forward to hosting Lafayette's 2019 Lantern Parade this fall. You can see more about the 2017 parade at theatreacadie.com/lanternparade
In 2017 I was awarded an ArtSpark grant from LEDA and administered by the AcA for a project to create an album of Cajun French music for families. The album is based off of the music within the Clovis Crawfish book series. This project used local Cajun music legends and Grammy nominated and award winning artists, along with the original Clovis Crawfish illustrator to create the album Bienvenue! by Clovis Crawfish and the All-Star Bayou Band. The album is a great tool to teach children how to speak French and promote language and literacy connected with a classic local book series. This project led to my summer tour of the Evangeline Parish libraries to present workshops to families using music, performance, and language. I have also performed for the Lafayettte Public library system's French Fun day held monthly at the main library. Clovis Crawfish and the All-Star Bayou Band is invited to perform at this year's 50th anniversary New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. You can find out more at cloviscrawfish.com
In 2018 I was inspired to connect the youth with the elderly through the arts and launched the Intergenerational Arts Initiative. With this initiative I was able to hire local artists and cultural experts in visual arts, theatre, dance, language, storytelling, and music, to come into the assisted living home and teach a workshop for children within the community and the elderly living in the home. These workshops bridged gaps and gave social experiences to the elderly while teaching the youth about the natural aging process. Find out more info here.
My passion for the arts led to my service on the board of directors of the Acadiana Center for the Arts. I currently serve as secretary of the board and chair of the development committee. I am invested and involved in many aspects of the AcA, however my passion lies with the work being done in Arts education, especially the Student Arts Expo. In 2018 I emceed the gala event where we were able to highlight a chorus teacher who impacted many lives and award his former school funding to restart the chorus program. Bringing arts into schools, educating teachers in the arts, and offering arts to families within our community is a major part of making Lafayette the cultural hub we all know and allowing for continued growth and support of artists within our community. Learn more about the Acadiana Center for the Arts here. out
I am a recent graduate of Leadership Lafayette (Class XXXI - best class ever) which was the catalyst for my campaign for elected office. I was humbled to be chosen to take part in such an engaging and empowering program, and I was continually inspired by the amazing group of leaders within our community who shared this experience with me. During our short year of learning about our community and seeing opportunities to engage, we were able to make impacts along the way. One way was to collectively raise and give funds to sponsor a bus stop through the Adopt-a-stop Program. Leadership Lafayette is a program of the Leadership Institute of Acadiana and you can find out more here.
Other ways I have supported my community are through volunteer work at St. Joseph's diner, coordinating donations to Food Net, and singing and assisting with the Blue Monday Mission: Blues Jam. I also volunteer with Big Bothers, Big Sisters of Acadiana, and enjoy spending time and mentoring my little. Since 2006 I have produced, directed, and performed in several theatre and music productions in Lafayette. My latest work was directing and producing The Kingfish, a one man show about the life and times of Huey P Long. This past year I was appointed to the commission for the Heymann Performing Arts Center and am looking forward to continuing to impact the community in that position.
The biggest way I can give back to my community is through parenting my 3 children to be compassionate stewards of their community. When they see me activated within my community, they too want to do and be better. And that is the key to making a great Lafayette.