Archive for the ‘Classes’ Category

Teacher Seminar Day Haiti Teach-In at the Schomburg


School teachers and college faculty are invited to spend the day with leading scholars exploring political, social, and cultural perspectives on Haiti’s past, present, and future.

Special  presentations by: Ibi Zoboi, (Writer) Demystifying Haiti: Exploring Haitian Culture Through Mythology and Folklore.
Michele Stephenson, (Filmmaker) Bearing Witness: Haiti, One Day One Destiny – A multi-media Project
Regine Romain (Photographer) Urban PhotoPoets workshop:Re-visioning Haiti through post earthquake photography and poetry

Registration Required.

DATE: Tuesday, November 2, 2010
TIME: 9.00 am – 3.00 pm
LOCATION: Schomburg Research Center for Research in Black Culture,515 Malcom X Boulevard, Harlem, NY  10037-1801
CONTACT: Diedre Hollman, 212.491.2234

Posted in Arts, Classes, Film, Literature | No Comments »

Archive: SELEBRASYON! Haitian art at Affirmation Arts gallery from Caribbean Life by Tequila Minsky


Taken from Caribbean Life

by Tequila Minsky

In a sun-drenched art gallery overlooking railroad tracks on Manhattan’s very far west side, a celebration of Haitian art “Saving Grace” is exhibiting the work of 45 Haitian artists and reflects the history and diversity of Haitian art.

Two paintings damaged in the January earthquake and restored are on exhibit; some paintings have never been shown before and most are from the collection of the Nader family, in Haiti. The earthquake destroyed Musee d’Art Nader, Georges Nader’s museum of Haitian art with most of its thousands of paintings collected over decades. “Saving Grace” is Affirmation Arts gallery way of responding to the earthquake.

Curator Gerald Alexis continuously disabuses the public of the notion that Haitian art is primitive. “Haitian art did not evolve in isolation,” writes Alexis in the booklet that accompanies the show. Many painters were trained abroad and traveled. There were influences and exchanges between indigenous popular painters (“self-taught”) and those trained. Haitian culture’s deep core in music and storytelling– and myths and legends and vodou roots greatly impacts its visual arts’ expressions.

Alexis was on-hand on Oct. 16 when Haiti Cultural Exchange organized what best could be called a Haitian happening — a full afternoon of Haitian arts for children and adults in the three-floor gallery. On the ground floor, children painted amidst the masters’ works on display while other children were enthralled by long-told stories in a storytelling corner on the second floor. A printmaking workshop and Tiga’s Artistic Rotation for kids engaged others.

Meanwhile, a full schedule of performances captivated adults with many parents holding their children on their laps. KaNU Dance Theater’s portrayal in movement, slavery and the evolution to freedom, captivated the audience. Goussy Celestin danced to Markus Schwartz’s drumming. Schwartz later performed with the band Lakou Brooklyn.

Tiga Jean-Baptiste led off his segment with mastery of the didgeridoo followed by his talented drumming, playing with an amplified thumb piano, and singing. When children danced to his hypnotic rhythms, Tiga often encouraged and moved with them.

No one in the performance space gave up their seats and the crowd became more and more standing room to watch the dancing of Nadia Dieudonne & Feet of Rhythm. Buyu Ambroise & The Blues in Red Band featuring jazz singer Melanie Charles wrapped up the afternoon extravaganza of performances.

This event was unique in its appeal to adults and many parents with all ages of children who could and did feast on an afternoon of Haitian culture.

The Haiti Cultural Exchange was launched just a year ago. “There has been a lot of interest in Haitian culture, especially since the earthquake,” says Regine Roumain one of the founders of this organization.

The Haiti Cultural Exchange sponsors art workshops for children, writing workshops for youth and salons for adults. They’re called upon frequently for artist referrals. For more information on their work, visit

“Saving Grace” is on exhibit at Affirmation Arts gallery, 525 W 37th St. until Nov. 24. Hours: Tuesday – Friday-10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Posted in Archive, Arts, Classes, Crafts, Dance, Events, Exhibitions, Film, HCX Programs, Krik Krak, Literature, Music, Poetry, Public Forums, Visual Art, Weekend, Youth Programs | No Comments »

Archive: August 7, 2010 Brooklyn Museum First Saturday: Haiti



The Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturdays event attracts thousands of visitors to free programs of art and entertainment each month. On August 7th, the day included festivities and events for Haiti and Brooklyn’s own Haitian community.

Haiti Cultural Exchange collaborated with Brooklyn Museum for many of the performances.

The day opened with Peniel Guerrier’s dance troupe Tamboula, performing in front of the large fountain at Brooklyn Museum with help from KONGO drumming circle. Hundreds of people gathered on the outdoor steps and encircling the fountain to watch the dancers and listen to the drums, and some even joined in!

As the evening progressed, La Troupe Makandal performed Haitian drumming to represent Haiti’s history and culture in the Sculpture Garden at the back of the Museum. Lorraine O’Grady’s work Miscegenated Family Album, the Museum’s featured object for the month of August, was examined by V. Cybil Charlier in a guided discussion, and later the artist joined for her own perspective on her work. Pierre Francillon responded to works in the exhibition Andy Warhol: The Last Decade.

Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy (Renée Bergan and Mark Schuller, 2009, 50 min., NR)., a documentary about the lives and struggles of Haitian women workers was shown, and co-director Renée Bergan answers questions after the screening.

Children were able to learn about the homemade instruments used by Haitian rara bands—including drums, horns, and shakers—and make their own. Master drummer Frisner Augustin of La Troupe Makandal led a community drum circle, to which the public was invited to bring their own drums. Sabine Toussaint, a scholar on Haitian policy on education, women, and agriculture, led a conversation about outreach, rebuilding, and stabilizing efforts in Haiti. Brooklyn-based Haitian DJ Hard Hittin’ Harry and the Earthman Experience spun a Haitian Carnival-style party with compas, soca, calypso, and other world music. Jazz musician Obed Jean-Loius with Buyu Ambroise, and Pauline Jean played jazz into the evening in the front of the building.

To see pictures from the event, please visit the Facebook album.

Posted in Archive, Arts, Classes, Dance, Events, Exhibitions, Film, HCX Collaborations, HCX Programs, Music, Youth Programs | No Comments »

Dance Dance for Haiti


Afro-Haitian Dance Classes for kids 4-17

Register your kids for dance classes through August and September, with the option of participating in the West Indian Parade on Labor Day!

Click this link for the flier on the Brooklyn Arts Council website.

Posted in Classes, Dance, Events, Youth Programs | No Comments »

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