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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Pam Breaux
Assistant Secretary of the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development

A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Pam Breaux graduated from McNeese State University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Later she graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a master of arts degree in English and folklore.

Pam managed Southwest Louisiana's Decentralized Arts Funding Program for Region Five of the state from its inception through its seventh year. Further, she spent six years as executive director of the Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana. During her tenure there, she worked to create and develop the Central School Arts & Humanities Center (adaptive reuse project) as well as the Southwest Louisiana Cultural Tourism Coalition. She also led the Louisiana Division of the Arts as its executive director.

Pam is active with the Louisiana Partnership for the Arts and was chairman of the group from 1997-1999. She currently serves on the board of directors and is vice president for NOCCA--the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts/Riverfront--as well as the advisory board for the Louisiana Creole Heritage Center. Other professional activities include:
  • serving as the task force member representing the arts for Louisiana 2020 the state's plan for Economic Development;
  • service on numerous local, state and national grants panels;
  • numerous presentations at workshops and conferences;
  • member of the board of directors and vice president of the Southern Arts Federation;
  • member of the board of directors of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.


Pam now serves as assistant secretary of the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

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     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

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     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
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