Archive for the ‘Krik Krak’ Category

Selebrasyon! :: About New York’s Celebration of Haitian Art & Culture


Selebrasyon Poster Banner top

Selebrasyon! will be the first of its kind in New York. This festival will bring Haitian, Caribbean, and wider New York communities together to experience Haitian film, dance, music, literary and visual art in venues across the city!

Beginning on Haitian Flag Day on May 18th during Haitian Heritage Month, and running until the end of June which is Caribbean-American Heritage Month, this festival will present events hosted in collaboration with different organizations, institutions and artists.

Seeking to highlight the dynamic presence of Haitians in New York as well as in Haiti and other parts of the Diaspora, Selebrasyon! will provide opportunities for artists, especially those who are emerging, to share their work and build new audiences.


Selebrasyon! Advisory Committee

Buyu Ambroise • Alice Backer • Sabine Blaizin • Manolia Charlotin • Edwidge Danticat Jeffrey Dessources •  Joel Dreyfuss • Ayinde Jean-Baptiste • Carine Jocelyn Lorraine Mangones • Michèle Voltaire Marcelin • Jerry Philogene • Anthonine Pierre Sam Pierre • Barbara Prezeau • Rose Pierre-Louis • Elsie Saint-Louis Jessica St. Vil-Ulysse • Etienne Télémaque • Frantz Voltaire

Selebrasyon! Community Partners

651 Arts | Ann Pale Kreyol | Artists for Peace & Justice | BelTiFi Belle Vue ToursCenter for Traditional Music & Dance | City Lore Cornbread & Cremasse | CUMBE | FiveMyles Gallery | Haiti Cherie Haitian American Caucus | Haitian Recipes  | The Haitian Roundtable  Jaz Enterprise | Konbit Mizik Kiskeácity | Konbit MizikMoCADA My Haiti Travels | National Association of Haitian Professionals New York Women in Television & Film | PEN American Center Thornton Global Strategies |

Selebrasyon! Sponsors

 advantage  AFTA Diasporalogo_2013_c
Emblem health FOKAL
HAUP  nea-lockup-C QcDrapeau_2color
William Talbott Hillman Foundation
nysca_60px Selebrasyon! is made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State legislature.

Selebrasyon! Media Partners

Africulture Africulture  black street media  Brooklyn Reader Logo
 Caribbean American Weekly logo Caribbean Life    CARTER magazine diaspora radio logo
biggerHIPlogo kiskeacity kreyolicious Naika In Balance Logo
NBPClogo POWER RCLTV-logo (2) TrendyTripping_JPEG
voices from haiti (grab)


Posted in Archive, Crafts, Dance, Events, Exhibitions, Fashion, Film, HCX Collaborations, HCX Programs, Krik Krak, Literature, Music, Photography, Poetry, Selebrasyon!, Theater, Visual Art, Weekend | No Comments »

Archive: Krik? Krak! Storytelling & Songs with Goussy Celestin and Jean Mary Brignol


gous and jm

As part of the Brooklyn Public Library’s youth programming for Black History Month, HCX visited the Dweck Center for a special Krik? Krak! Storytelling & Songs with storyteller Goussy Celestin & drummer Jean Mary Brignol.

Tromping through the snow and shaking off layers of coats, gloves, and caps, families settled in to listen to Goussy and Jean Mary as they transported us to warmer places.

Reading from Diane Wolkstein’s Banza, Goussy told the tale of a shy little goat who used the power of music to ward off a pack of hungry tigers.

Another story of the underdog… or rather, underfrog, is that of Crapo and Cheval. With a convincing “Click-O-Top! Click-O-Top!” we heard the tale of the over-confident Cheval (Horse) and his competition with clever Crapo (Frog) for the hand of the King’s beautiful daughter.

Following the victorious tale of Crapo, Goussy and Jean Mary led us in learning Crapo’s wedding dance! We all got moving with a silly dance and great rhythms celebrating Crapo’s new bride!

Another mischievous Crapo (no relation, Goussy explained) got himself into trouble with Simbi the spirit of the river when he dries out the village for his own selfish pleasure. We then wrapped up this session of Krik? Krak! with another traditional Haitian dance called the Yanvalou.

Upcoming Krik? Krak! Storytelling & Songs taking place this summer include a special session at our Haitian Flag Day Selebrasyon! on May 18th at Ocean Ave and Parkside Ave.

A special thank you to the Brooklyn Public Library’s Dweck Center for hosting us.


This Krik? Krak! Storytelling & Songs took place on February 15, 2014 at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Dweck Center.


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Archive: Kont ak Mizik Anba Tonèl: Ochan pou Mimi Barthélémy


Kont ak Mizik castThe finale of the 2013 Mizik Ayiti! Summer Concert Series on August 24th at FiveMyles Gallery was a bittersweet evening under the Brooklyn stars. Directly following the opening reception of Haitians from the Diaspora: Creativity & Focus, the audience made their way outside. As the sun began to slip behind the clouds, the lights came on casting red and purple shadows that cloaked the stage in mysterious colors of tales yet told.

Kont ak Mizik Anba Tonèl: Ochan pou Mimi Barthélémy offered up Haitian folktales and songs in tribute to the late Haitian folklorist. Born May 3, 1939 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Mimi Barthélémy studied in France where she received a doctorate in dramatic studies. As a storyteller, actress, writer and director, Mimi lived abroad and performed in countless festivals and book affairs including the Suburban Blues Festival, the Caribbean Identity Festival at the Odeon, and the Conciergerie aux Rencontres Internationales du Conte.

Mimi’s journey began in 1979 where she worked with the Honduran Garifuna community to create a show in aimed at reclaiming their forgotten history. Mimi told her stories in French and Creole, performing either alone or with musicians in cultural centers, libraries, apartments, prisons and hospitals.

Throughout her theatrical career, Mimi received numerous honors including the Arletty Universality of the French Language and several national awards of France including the National Order of Merit, the Order of Arts and Letters and the Legion of Honor.

After selected recordings of Mimi Barthélémy, HCX Executive Director Régine M. Roumain gave a moving introduction to the evening’s performances. [Transcribed below]

“KRIK! [Audience responds ‘KRAK!’]

Tonight, we honor the work of the late Mimi Barthélémy who passed on April 27, 2013. We share her stories, her songs, her laughter, and her desire to ensure that Haitian oral traditions are kept alive.

Mimi worked and lived in Paris, France but traveled the world to share Haitian folktales. Through numerous books and CDs including Haïti Conte, Dis-moi des Chanson d’Haïti, La Reine des Poissons & Contes d’Haïti, as well as her most recent theatrical release Koute Chante, Mimi enthralled audiences with her voice, her wit, and her passion.

I had the opportunity to sit with Mimi in her beautiful home in Paris when HCX was founding out Krik ? Krak ! program fpr children. She was so full of anedotes about growing up in Haiti, witnessing the earthquake, her family… we spoke for hours. I left her home with a suitcase full of books and music and have greatly enjoyed sharing them with my two daughters and the great number of childrenand families who have participated in our Krik ? Krak ! Program over the years. I thank Mimi deeply for providing us with such treasures.

Her good friend and collaborator, Muriel Bloch, had this to say in an article recently published in French – « Tu restes au cœur de tant d’amis, grands et petits, a’ailleurs et d’ici. Mimi la Reine des conteuses, diva de la vie, Femme-Cararaïbe ardent et baroque, à tour épique et droilatique oscillant souvent entre le mervilleux et le tragique, femme tonnerre et femme tendresse » Mimi, you remain in the heart of so many friends, big and small– from near and far. Mimi the Queen of Storytelling, dive of life.

This evening, we bring you storytelling in Kreyol and Englush, as translated with care by my mother Maryse Roumain with performance by Melissa Beauvery, Jennifer Celestin, Atibon Legba, and Laura Simms and music by Riva Précil and Jean Mary Brignol. Tonight we bring you Mimi Barthélémy. Ochan pou Mimi.”

Following opening remarks, the talented traditional drummer Jean Mary Brignol performed a moving tribute. Kont ak Mizik then presented a series of folktales and songs that were captured from works and infamous renditions by Mimi including “Ti Fi & the Key to Knowledge” which was performed by Melissa Beauvery, “The Lady & the Three Beans” performed by Jennifer Celestin and Laura Simms, and “Bouki Dances the Kokioko” as performed by Atibon Legba and Jean Mary Brignol. The stories were followed by a special set of folk songs with Riva Nyri Précil and Jean Mary Brignol which had the audience dancing and singing along.

The audience departed into the cool evening night with a spark in their eye of memory, magic, imagination set wild in a world of selfish blubbering frogs, water spirit, talking fires, and the unfortunate sufferings of silly Bouki.

Mimi, èske ou te koute?

Mizik Ayiti! Summer Concert Series and Kont ak Mizik Anba Tonèl: Ochan pou Mimi Barthélémy could not have been possible without the contributions of our talented artists, supportive community members, and generous donors. Thank you.

A special thank you to these sponsors:


MA13 sponsor blok long


The 2013 Mizik Ayiti! Summer Concert Series is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

Posted in Archive, Arts, Events, HCX Programs, Krik Krak, Mizik Ayiti, Music, Poetry, Theater, Weekend | No Comments »

Archive: Krik? Krak! Storytelling & Songs wraps up the season at Tastes of Brooklyn


Krik:Krak! Storytelling & Songs wraps up the season at Tastes of Brooklyn
October 2012

On Saturday, October 20th, HCX hosted the last session of a four-part series of Krik:Krak! Storytelling and Songs at Brooklyn Borough Hall as part of Tastes of Brooklyn. Tastes of Brooklyn is a local food festival supporting Seeds in the Middle, the only local farmer’s market in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

The unusually warm and sunny Fall afternoon had most of us in shorts or short sleeves. The plaza was busy, with families trying to juice the last bit of summer out of the city. Under a canopy tent, on a big blue rug in the center of the festival, chairs gathered around and both children and parents looked interested in something to entertain them while they drank the first early autumn batch of Buzzard Crest Vineyard grape juice (snuck over the boundary from the Borough Hall greenmarket) and savored delightful bites such as the bready, veggy, well-herbed goodness of rebollita (a tuscan bread soup which literally translated to “reboiled” prepared by Locanda Vini e Olii).

Storytelling was led by musician and performer Goussy Celestin with drumming by Jean Marie Brignol. Goussy wove Haitian folktales and songs as children and parents sang along as they munched on local Brooklyn restaurants’ gourmet tastes. Though the audience was very diverse and the tales unfamiliar to most, the stories brought some real laughs and sighs from the audience. “Bouki Dances the Kokioko” culled from collected folkstories in Diane Wolkstein’s The Magic Orange Tree made children giggle as Goussy mimicked the erratic and silly dance moves of Bouki trying to impress the king. Goussy also read Running the Road to ABC by Denize Lauture, a beautifully illustrated alphabetical tale that follows a group of children in the Haitian countryside and their crack-of-dawn encounters with creatures and characters on their run to school.

With the conclusion of Krik:Krak! Storytelling & Songs for the 2012 season comes a bit of sadness, but I want to challenge you, story-lovers. Tell your own tales, sing your own songs around a crisp evening fire and keep the Krik? Krak! sounding strong until next year!

Take a minute and read about the rest of this year’s Krik:Krak! Storytelling & Songs here.

We again would like to thank the Brooklyn Arts Council, Community Arts Fund for supporting our Krik: Krak! program.

-Kassandra Khalil
Program Coordinator, HCX

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