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Sign Up to be a Selebrasyon! 2018 Volunteer!



Haiti Cultural Exchange is proud to announce our third biennial festival of Haitian art and culture, Selebrasyon! – New York City’s only festival dedicated to the promotion of the highest caliber film, dance, music, literature, and visual art of Haiti and its Diaspora. The festival will showcase the diversity, beauty and vitality of Haiti and its Diaspora through arts presentations of traditional Haiti to the modern day. We would like to invite you to work with us as a dedicated volunteer to make this year a success!

This year’s Selebrasyon! theme centers around Ayiti Angaje/Atis Angaje – an ode to artists, inspired by Haiti’s revolutionary spirit, who are building their artistic practice on social justice and socially engaged work. Through creativity, expression, and community, this two-month festival of Haitian Arts & Culture will bring together over thirty emerging, mid-career and established artists from Haiti and its vast Diaspora. Artists will present their work in community-based and main-stage venues throughout NYC.

Selebrasyon! will kick off with an opening night event on Thursday, May 17th and end with a wonderful closing night celebration Friday, June 29th. HCX depends on dedicated volunteers to support our events. We are writing to ask you to commit your time as a volunteer on one or more of the following teams:

Opening Night Support Team: includes completing task exclusively related to Selebrasyon’s opening night event featuring Boukman Eksperyans.

Flag Day Support Team: includes completing task exclusively related to Selebrasyon’s Flag Day event, hosted in collaboration with the office of Council member Jumaane Williams and Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte.

Hudson Guild Team: includes providing support to events happening as part of Selebrasyon’s expansion through the Hudson Guild’s Cultural Kaleidoscope Festival.

Event Support Team: includes support at individual Selebrasyon! events such as sign in, event preparation, event-specific tasks, etc.

Street Team: includes community outreach, flier placement, community partner engagement, etc.

In-office Task Force: includes working in the HCX office to support activities related to the festival and online social media outreach.

If you are able to volunteer in any capacity, please fill out this sign-up sheet which includes a sample schedule of the time commitment. If you have questions or know someone who may be interested in donating their time, email us at

We deeply value and appreciate the time and energy of HCX Volunteers like you!

Warmest Regards,

The HCX Team

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Lakou NOU Ann Pale with 2017 Artists | Recap



On Friday, February 9, 2018 at FiveMyles Gallery, HCX held an Ann Pale | Café Conversation featuring 2017 Lakou NOU Artists in Residence Diane Exavier, Glenda Lezeau, and Jasmine Plantin. The evening featured a performance by Diane Exavier herself, reading a reflective essay on her project, and a discussion moderated by Véronëque Ignace, Programs Coordinator and former Lakou NOU 2016 artist resident.

Ignace began the conversation with the following introduction :

Who am I? – Programs Coordinator, Dancer, Public Health Practitioner, Former Lakou NOU 2016 Resident in East Flatbush

The Lakou NOU program, now in its third cycle, is a true example of what it means to provide solid opportunities for artists to engage with communities – often times their own – in such a way that embodies reciprocity. Artists learn how to create art, platform issues, and work toward impacting change. Community residents participate in the building of that work, getting exposed to high quality art built with and for them. Often times, the relationships built are durational where artists continue the work they’ve created or expect to be still developing in their Lakou.

Jumping right into it, would you each say your name, who you are as an artist, and what your Lakou NOU 2017 project was?

During the conversation, 2017 Lakou NOU artists answered critical questions about what exactly it means to be an artist in this current sociopolitical moment; how their Lakou NOU 2017 project fit within the broader context of what Brooklyn communities are facing in general and with regards to what Haitian people living in the diaspora are facing; and what the artists have been moved to do since the Lakou NOU residency period.

Following this, Lakou NOU 2018 residents – Madjeen Isaac, Richard Louissaint, Stefani Saintonge, and Sirene Dantor Sainvil – were announced and able to provide short presentations of their work. Isaac featured a slideshow of some her defining paintings. Louissaint screened a video he created to summarize the work of Lakou NOU thus far; it can be found at the bottom of this post. Saintonge showed her short film Seventh Grade. Sainvil performed a short musical set accompanied by drummer Jean Guy Rene. Read about the new cohort here.

The evening was specially catered by Idanoise Joseph, from Ida J. & Co and photos were taken by Claire Judine Saintil. View them here.

2017 Artist Biographies

Diane Exavier creates performance events, public programs, and games that challenge viewers to participate in the active realization of a theater that rejects passive reception. She is also an arts educator with a pedagogy that focuses on creating reflective spaces for young people. Her work has been presented at Westmont College, California State University: Northridge, New Urban Arts (Providence), West Chicago City Museum, and in New York: Bowery Poetry Club, Dixon Place, Independent Curators International, Medialia Gallery, and more. Her most recent play Good Blood was workshopped in residency with the Flea Theater. Her writing appears in Cunjuh Magazine, Daughter Literary Magazine, The Atlas Review, and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind.

Glenda Lezeau is a lover of all things Konpa from the keyboard solos to the dance moves. She is a piano player determined to shed a different light on Haiti by sharing the sounds of Haitian music along with its beautiful culture. Her passion for music strengthens and intensifies as she advances a movement of positive, inspirational music that is powerful enough to impact others. With over 20 years of training as a pianist and violist, Glenda has performed at many high profile venues, including Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, The Plaza Hotel and New York’s City Hall. She holds a diploma in Instrumental Music from Fiorella H. Laguardia High School of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Connecticut.

Jasmine Plantin was born and raised in New York and has been surrounded by art and design since she was a child. She attended Parsons the New School for Design and Central Saint Martins for her undergraduate degree, where she was nominated for “Designer of the Year” and graduated with a BFA in Apparel Design in 2013. While pursuing her degree she apprenticed with design studios Proenza Schouler, Altuzarra and Phillip Lim until she graduated and began designing menswear for Greenpoint based company Outlier. Her work in textiles and fashion has appeared in international publications, such as Teen Vogue and Oyster Magazine, and has been displayed in Saks Fifth Avenue and at exhibitions in Paris, France.

Meet Past Lakou NOU Artists Here.  

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

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: |

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Nubian Nene’s Crown Heights Creatives | Lakou NOU Recap


Happy New Year! We’re starting 2018 by reflecting on artist-in-residence Nadine “Nubian Nene” Sylvestre’s presentation of her project “Crown Heights Creatives.” The event concluded the Lakou NOU 2017 presentation series on December 22nd and sent us off into the holiday season motivated to breathe, move, and meditate on the impact we have on our neighborhoods.


Nene’s residency and culminating project was based on her belief that basic human services are things a city should provide its residents. In “Crown Heights Creatives”, Nene documents the personal perspective of residents on environmental justice and access to healthy public spaces. She assesses the Crown Heights community needs, raises awareness about the presence of local street farms, gardens and the availability of healthy foods, and engages the creatives of that community to share their skills, expertise and teachings towards collective action.

The event included live drumming and original music by Lakou NOU 2016 residents Okai Fleurimont & DJ Sabine Blaizin, a dance class taught by Nene herself, live painting by Haitian-American visual artist Madjeen Isaac, and a multi-media video and performance installation conceptualized by Nene for this residency. Photographer and videographer Richard Louissant helped to create the video installation, accentuating the way Nene’s movement reflected on space-based relationships and inheritance.

In her new performance piece created for the Lakou NOU residency, Nubian Nene pulls from her Haitian heritage, connecting the dots between Crown Heights, its residents, and herself – a Haitian-Canadian woman living in Brooklyn.  She danced in honor and in portrayal of Kouzen Zaka, the agriculture/harvest/hard worker lwa of Haitian Vodou. By doing this she further enforced the idea of community collective action and relationship to space.

NUBIAN NENE Lakou Nou Performance – Friday, December 22, 2017 from Richard Louissaint on Vimeo.

Find more photos from Nene’s event on Facebook by clicking 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: |

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

Taking on Responsibility by Alex Leon, Programs Outreach Volunteer


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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.

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