Archive for the ‘Archive’ Category

Diane’s Each Body is a Miracle | Lakou NOU Recap

12.13.17

Diane Exavier, Lakou NOU 2017 artist resident in East Flatbush, describes her project Each Body is a Miracle, as “…a social praxis; a play in retreat; an exploration of health, wellness, and creativity in East Flatbush.” The project, inspired by her original play Good Blood, allowed her to delve deeper into the issues and themes of the play: immigration, partnership/intimacy, and health — via research, community crafting, and social practice.


She offers:

From the journey of Caribbean immigrants as part of the African Diaspora to the arrival of the global epidemic of AIDS in 1980s New York, Good Blood crosses language, time, and even the ocean in an attempt to question the contracts we make, the conditions we live under, and what it means to reach for a love that might outlive you. This fall, Each Body Is a Miracle offers the community of East Flatbush a chance to ask some of the same questions the play’s characters tackle: How do we live every single day? How does that help us take care of our bodies? What are the conditions we agree to in order to do that?

She segmented her project into three parts: 1) field notes, where she asked, what health issues are most affecting the lives and bodies of Haitian community members in East Flatbush today? 2) community crafting, where she facilitated a floral crown making workshop, related to the Haitian traditional practice of plasaj, and 3) reportage, an exercise in active dramaturgy, combining research and documentation with live performance.

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On November 9th, at the East Flatbush Branch Brooklyn Public Library, Diane presented part 2: Crown Crafting. The workshop was filled with youth visiting the library on that day. She reflects on this in her project’s tumblr writing:

One small, quiet boy, with skin as dark as my father’s entered the room. He ate a few cookies before mumbling, “I want to make a flower.” I obliged his request by placing wire around his head, fitting him for a crown, not daring to pretend he would ever be a king. I showed him how to attach flower and he was set on his way. He quietly worked on his floral crown for about 45 minutes before he finished in silence and filled up his snack plate with more cheese puffs. I remarked how wonderful his crown looked and held up a compact mirror for him to look into. He stared at his reflection, so satisfied and happy with what he had created and how it was resting on his head. I asked him if he made it with a wish in mind. He nodded yes.

Lessons learned from part 2, were shared on December 9th, at Brooklyn Fete, during Diane’s staged presentation of Good Blood and during the second rendition of community crown crafting.

Find photos by Richard Louissaint on Facebook here!

 

About the author:

Veroneque Ignace is a Brooklyn-based Haitian American community arts advocate and public health practitioner. She is the creator of Kriyol Dance! Collective and centers her work on community and individual wellness. Veroneque is an alum of Suny Downstate Medical Center: School of Public Health.

For more of her work: www.veronequeignace.com | instagram.com/_kriyoldance_

Posted in Archive, Lakou NOU, Literature | No Comments »

Taking on Responsibility by Alex Leon, Programs Outreach Volunteer

12.05.17

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My name is Alexandria Leon. I attend the Packer Collegiate Institute where I’m currently in the 11th grade. At school, I enjoy playing tennis and I’ve been doing so outside of school for about 5 years. As a result of my hard work and dedication, I am now number one on my high school team. A resident of Park Slope, Brooklyn, I am most interested in Math and History. Math and History both interest me because they help me think deeply and exercise my problem solving skills. My other interests include playing music and photography. I can play 4 instruments: piano, guitar, drums, and ukulele. I really love photography, especially portrait photography as I find it helps me connect with people on a different and more intimate level.

These days, I’m learning to speak French because I think it will bring me closer to my family since, though I can understand it, I can’t speak Creole. Working with Haiti Cultural Exchange is an important opportunity for me to get closer to family and to Haitian culture. Although both of my parents are Haitian and I’ve been surrounded by Haitian people my whole life, I don’t know nearly as much about Haitian culture or Haitian-American culture as I would like to. I’m really interested in learning about the Haitian community in the city and their work. I believe this would be a great way to learn more. I also want to work on public speaking, because it’s a very important skill that I want to develop. Working within Brooklyn community, through Haiti Cultural Exchange would help me become more comfortable doing this.

I believe that the work I will do at Haiti Cultural Exchange will help teach me more about taking on responsibility, building important communication skills, and most importantly, the Haitian community in Brooklyn.

Posted in Archive, Uncategorized | No Comments »

2018 Lakou NOU Application is OPEN!

11.28.17

Lakou NOU Banner - Apply now

In rural Haiti, the Lakou communal living system embodies the intersection of land, family, and spirituality.  Lakou members develop reciprocal patterns of resource sharing and jointly work the land.  Lakou NOU (“Our Yard” in Haitian Creole), HCX’s newest program, is a creative adaption of this traditional model. This project provides four artists of Haitian descent with the opportunity to create and present new work by connecting their skills and talents to four traditionally underserved Brooklyn neighborhoods, home to generations of Haitians and Haitian-Americans: Crown Heights, Canarsie, East Flatbush, and Flatbush. 

In 2016, the programs inaugural year, Lakou NOU artists produced diverse multidisciplinary projects that drew connections between artistic practice and neighborhood concerns. Drumming set the tone for discussions about health and wellness in Canarsie. Dance navigated the topic of state-sanctioned violence in East Flatbush. Storytelling and video art explored gentrification that is taking place in Crown Heights. Over ten partners, including high schools, tenant organizing groups, libraries, and the national non-profit StoryCorps, were enlisted by our Lakou NOU artists to help them work with local residents toward addressing community issues and building on neighborhood strengths.

This year, Lakou NOU artists will be provided with a stipend of $7,000 for creating new art; the development, implementation, documentation, and evaluation of projects; access to a network of other artists, community leaders, and local organizations; a platform to showcase their work to varied audiences; and the opportunity to develop leadership skills while becoming more acquainted with social issues affecting Brooklyn communities.

Artists will engage in a curated professional development series designed to help them prepare for the challenges and opportunities that will come with cultivating and stewarding space for their projects. The series will introduce artists to the principles of social practice, community engagement, program planning and implementation, and impact assessment.

Resident-artist Timeline:

December – January 5th 2018: Applications are completed and submitted

January – February: Applications are reviewed and results are announced

February: Orientation for Lakou NOU residents; professional development series begins

Applicant Guidelines

Selection Criteria:

*Artistic excellence and originality

*Residence in or a demonstrated relationship with the Lakou NOU communities*

*An artistic practice rooted in community, collaboration, and dialogue

*Identification as an artist of Haitian decent working in any artistic discipline

Additional Requirements

*Artists are not required to live in the targeted “Lakou” neighborhoods (Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, or Canarsie), BUT must live in the greater New York City area.

*Artists must demonstrate interest in and commitment to Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, and/or Canarsie neighborhoods.

How do I apply?

APPLICATION DEADLINE JANUARY 5TH, 2018

Applications should be submitted as a PDF file to Régine M. Roumain at regine@haiticulturalx.org.

Responses must demonstrate a detailed and organized thought process. If you have any questions or concerns, please email our Programs Coordinator, Veroneque Ignace at veroneque@haiticulturalx.org or call 347-565-4429.

To learn about past Lakou NOU projects, visit our Archives.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION.

 

Lakou NOU Funders 2018

Posted in Archive, HCX Programs, Lakou NOU, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Glenda’s Canarsie’s Konpa Celebration | Lakou NOU Recap

11.20.17

Glenda Lezeau, a lover of all things Konpa from the keyboard solos to the dance moves, presented her Lakou NOU 2017 culminating event on Nov. 18th. The event was intended to to celebrate the beautiful sounds of Konpa and Haitian Culture in a fast growing Haitian community that lacks convening spaces so integral to building and sustaining communities. Lezeau planned a community dance fitness session, Konpa dance showcase, and special musical performance by the artist herself.

Taking place at the Happy Seniors Adult Social Daycare, Lezeau brought mainstream community to spaces misinterpreted as solely for “the neglected elderly.” Lezeau created an intergenerational, safe, and informative space to engage with community cross-culturally. With dance, food, and lots of smiles, Glenda Lezeau executed a celebration that uplifted the real purpose of Haitian music and dance – to bring people together as one!

See photos by Liz Gauthier on Facebook here.

Despacito: The Haitian Remix by Glenda Lezeau at Canarsie’s Konpa Celebration! #lakounou #canarsie #konpa #haiti #mizik

A post shared by Haiti Cultural Exchange (@haiticulturalx) on

About the author:

Veroneque Ignace is a Brooklyn-based Haitian American community arts advocate and public health practitioner. She is the creator of Kriyol Dance! Collective and centers her work on community and individual wellness. Veroneque is an alum of Suny Downstate Medical Center: School of Public Health.

For more of her work: www.veronequeignace.com | instagram.com/_kriyoldance_

Posted in Archive, HCX Programs, Lakou NOU, Uncategorized | No Comments »

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