SC State presents Member of the Club: A New Orleans Cinderella Story

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cinderella StorySC State’s I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium presents the documentary “Member of the Club: A New Orleans Cinderella Story” with director Phoebe Ferguson as part of the Southern Arts Federation’s Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 at 5:30 p.m.


The documentary tells the story of a debutante, Marisa Arianne Mitchell, who has been groomed to be a New Orleans Mardi Gras Queen since she was an infant. Surrounded by her mother and her grandmother, Mitchell is prepared to ascend to royal status and gain her crown as queen.


Using an observational, cinema verité approach, the documentary follows the Mitchell family through the 2003-2004 debutante season. The matriarchs and the debutante experience a flurry of interviews, dress fittings, rehearsals, academic challenges and ball practices. During the documentary, each event brings excitement and anxiety. The film portrays these three vibrant women intimately, witnessing their hopes, struggles and determination as they try to make this crowning dream a reality.


“Member of the Club” is a dramatic coming-of-age story that explores black social clubs of the South, as well as issues of race, class and the powerful desire of an American family to belong.


A native of New Orleans and a 1978 Mardi Gras debutante, Ferguson currently resides in New Orleans where she produces and directs documentary projects. Ferguson has a bachelor of arts from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., where she worked for more 20 years as a professional photographer in N.Y.


Following a screening of her documentary, Ferguson will engage the audience in a discussion about the film and her work as a filmmaker. A reception with the filmmaker is scheduled immediately after the screening and discussion. The event is free and open to the public.


The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of the Southern Arts Federation, a not-for-profit regional arts organization making a positive difference in the arts throughout the South since 1975. Southern Arts Federation is supported by funding and programming partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts and the state arts agencies of Ala, Fla., Ga., Ky., La, Miss., N.C., S.C., and Tenn. For more information on the Southern Arts Federation and its programs visit


For additional information about the “Member of the Club: A New Orleans Cinderella Story,” contact the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at (803) 536-7174.