I started teaching in 1994 and fell in love with the profession. Back then I taught literature, rhetoric, and linguistics; now I teach about New Orleans and the French Quarter!
To become a tour guide in New Orleans, the city requires people to “jump through several hoops.” One of those hoops is my Professional Tour Guiding class. The final exam serves as an equivalent to the city exam. One of my greatest joys is seeing my former students out on the streets sharing the city with visitors! For those not interested in becoming licensed tour guides, the courses are a great way to learn more about New Orleans in a fun, low-pressure environment. These courses are offered at Loyola University as non-credit courses. They meet once a week in the evening.
Professional Tour Guiding: History of New Orleans. Whether you are preparing to take the New Orleans Tour Guide Permit exam or just want to learn more about your favorite city, this course has something for you. Gain skills in the tourism industry and knowledge about the City of New Orleans. Students participate in eleven (11) classroom sessions and two (2) field trips that are guided walking tours of the city. Classroom sessions consist of instructor lectures, guest speakers, and student presentations. Previous guest speakers have included representatives from the Tour Guides Association of Greater New Orleans, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours, Gray Line Tours, New Orleans Tours, City Sightseeing New Orleans, and New Orleans Music Tours. Students also have the option to take the Tour Guide Permit exam for the City of New Orleans on the last night of class. $415. Class will begin on March 8, 2023. Registration link is here.
Professional Tour Guiding: Research and Story-Telling. This course is for new and seasoned tour guides, as well as anyone interested in research and storytelling techniques. You will learn techniques and resources to enhance your research and storytelling skills and build better tours. Class sessions will consist of lectures, workshops, and guest speaker presentations from research facilities such as The Historic New Orleans Collection, Louisiana Research Collection, New Orleans Public Library, Louisiana State Museum, and Amistad Research Center. You will choose at least one subject to investigate and give weekly reports in class as you hone your storytelling technique. The last class meeting is a field trip with guided walking tour. $250. Class will begin on May 24, 2023 and end on June 12. 2023. Find out more here.
History of the French Quarter. This course focuses on the history of the French Quarter as both the original city of New Orleans and its shifting role as the city’s flagship neighborhood. While the French, Spanish, and early American periods are covered, the emphasis of the course is on 20th century history. Topics include, but are not limited to: architecture, historical preservation, colorful characters, the rise of tourism, literature and arts, drinking culture, crime and vice, and LGBT+ history. The last class meeting is a tour of the French Quarter. Tuition: $245. Class will begin (TBA). Find out more here.
History of LGBT New Orleans. This course explores New Orleans’ rich LGBT+ history. Topics include: pre-colonial and colonial references, French Quarter Preservation efforts, Arts and Letters, Gay Carnival, Southern Decadence, the UpStairs Lounge fire, bar history, activists and activism, HIV / AIDS, organizational history, queer publications and journalism, trans activism, drag culture, notable characters, and more. The course will contextualize local queer history within a national context and highlights New Orleans’ contributions to national LGBT+ historical narratives. The last class period is my signature Rainbow Fleur de Lis Walking tour, which is a leisurely sashay through the French Quarter. Tuition: $250. Class begins August 30. Registration and more information here.
“Frank Perez’s incredible grasp of the history and culture of New Orleans comes alive with his amazing storytelling skills. I would recommend his courses to anyone, new to town or lifelong resident, who loves this city.” Rose Roseheart
“The History of the French Quarter course at Loyola was so informative and enjoyable! Frank is very knowledgeable and engaging. I really looked forward to the class each week.” Bobby Blackwell
“Not only did Frank’s class prepare me for the test and acquiring my tour guide permit, I looked forward to it every week. His knowledge and passion for the city are undeniable and infectious, and I have referenced my notebooks from both the New Orleans’ history classes I took from Frank countless times since.” Jamie Risbourg
“I am not a history buff—in fact, I have always found history to be very boring … dates … names … places … events—most of which I had never heard of. And then came Frank’s class. Frank’s teaching technique, along with his phenomenal personal knowledge of the French Quarter and its inhabitants—then and now—brought it to life for me. We learned the ‘pedigree’ of many buildings in the French Quarter. And it was fascinating.” Brian Opert
“What an enjoyable course! Frank’s love of New Orleans and its history is evident and he presents the course in such a way that you are taken on a journey into the past.” Cindy Hogan
“Frank Perez is a terrific teacher. Several decades out of a classroom had left me apprehensive about starting this new course of study. Frank quickly put me at ease while opening a broad world of insight into New Orleans’ history and culture. His understanding is both broad and deep, connecting enduring themes over the centuries. His presentations are well structured, filled with visuals, books, and related source materials. They provide a solid foundation for further independent research. Classes are often visited by knowledgeable guests and valuable contacts. Course expectations are clear, reasonable, and geared towards becoming a city licensed Tour Guide. His generosity of time spent with students is mirrored only by his generosity of spirit. My courses with Frank have surpassed expectation, introduced me to a cadre of kindred enthusiasts, and opened financial opportunities. Time in one of Frank Perez’s classes is time well spent.” Guy LaMothe
“This class was excellent. The instructor was extremely knowledgeable and did a great job. I was especially impressed with how he seamlessly wove a narrative with the course material covered. I would highly recommend this course to other students.” Leslie Blackwell