Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Linda Lutz-Ryan’s varied career allows her to bring a unique perspective to her work providing technical and interpretive design expertise for the reconstruction of the Visitors’ Center at New Orleans Jazz/Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in the heart of New Orleans. Before joining the Experienced Services Program in 2021, Linda was an art professor for Southern Utah University. During the winters she would work part-time on ski patrol in the local mountains, and eventually was hired in a seasonal position as a museum technician for the Bryce Canyon National Park (BRCA). That led to a position as an interpretive Park Ranger and her career with the Park Service took off from there.
After working as a Visual Information Specialist in the Santa Fe Planning Office, she later worked at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park as an Education Coordinator, Events Planner, and Museum Technician and then as an Education Coordinator and Park Ranger for Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado. This was her first opportunity to work on exhibits, and it was stimulating to assist in planning exhibits about volcanoes and fossil formation. Her final NPS career position was in the National Capital Region as the Chief of Interpretation, Education, and Youth in Washington, D.C. In a whirlwind of project and program assistance, they produced over 35 exhibits in her first year.
As an enrollee in ESP, Linda is assisting the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park/Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in determining the long-range vision for the interpretation and visitor experience at the parks. She is currently working on developing a “Themes and Objectives” document, which will provide guidance for the design contractors during the park’s reconstruction project. It is challenging work because so many stakeholders are involved so it is important to gain consensus among them.
When she is not helping JAZZ/JELA, Linda works in her garden and recently became a board member for her community’s local green space, Bowles Metropolitan District. One of her projects there is developing wayside exhibits for a small bird sanctuary between two lakes. She stays active walking her dog, swimming, kayaking, biking, and painting.
Linda Lutz-Ryan participating in a charrette at Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site in New Mexico