HCX Community Postings
Here's where you can find useful resources throughout our community.
Call for Submissions for the Haiti Film Fest taking place May 11-14, 2017.
Deadline: February 10th.
More information here: bit.ly/HFFsubmit
Okai is a percussionist and vocalist in several bands that are based in Brooklyn, all representing the music of the African Diaspora. As a lead vocalist and percussionist of Brown Rice Family, StringsNSkins and Underground Horns Okai is often on the road travelling to perform gigs all over the country and internationally.
As a Lakou Nou Artist in Residency in Canarsie, Okai created a workshop that incorporated his passion for drumming and his conscious eating lifestyle. This session took place on Saturday, November 5th at the Brooklyn Theater Arts, South Shore High School.
In 2012 Okai started to adopt a more conscious diet. He explained that making changes such as eating less meat, consuming less dairy, becoming more conscious of his sugar intake made a huge difference. He also began studying product labels more often and stayed away from ingredients he was unsure of or that were obviously detrimental when consumed. Reading labels and doing research on ingredients also helped him to be a more conscious consumer because he started paying more attention to the companies he was supporting, he began to invest more in companies with a shared mission.
Okai has noticed a transformation in his wellbeing since making these changes “ I started noticing that I had more energy, more awareness, I dreamt better and I had better thoughts” he stated. Inspired by the positive results he achieved by making this change, he now aims to share this message with other musicians. Accordingly as an artist in residence, in our Lakou Nou Artist Residency program in Canarsie, he incorporated a health segment in his workshop. He invited Anthony a drummer and health specialist practicing in Queens, NY. During his segment, Anthony reiterated a lot of what Okai himself had learned on his health conscious journey including cutting out a lot of pasta, processed foods and items that used a lot of white flour.
Another unique aspect of this workshop is that it brought together both beginners and professional drummers. Okai’s Rhythm Exchange workshop featured three master drummers of Colombian, Puerto Rican, and Haitian background, which allowed for drummers of all levels to learn a new rhythm. Attendees learned Afro-Columbian drumming from Cumbia rhythms originated from the days of slavery in the late 17th century. We learned of the bass drum (tambora) a double -sided drum used to produce the deep bass rhythms; the Tambor Alegre a secondary mid-drum known used for backup rhythm and the small drum (lamador), which also provides the back beat. Afterwards Will Tucker presented Puerto Rican Bumba rhythm featuring the drumming style Leró used as accompaniment for dancers. Finally Jean May Brignol gave us a snippet of Ibo, Nago and Yanvalou rhythms from Afro Haitian drumming.
Okai’s workshop gave participants an opportunity to hear and experience how similar and connected Afro-Caribbean culture is, while also hearing the different tones that make the expression from each country unique and distinctive.
See photos of the event HERE!
Join HCX for our classic An n’ Pale | Café Conversation at the Bowery Poetry Club with Danielle Legros Georges.
Danielle Legros Georges
Danielle is the current Poet Laureate of the City of Boston and a professor in the Creative Arts in Learning Division of Lesley University. She also teaches in the Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences summer Writer’s Workshop, University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her poems have been widely anthologized, and recent essays of hers have appeared in Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences and Writing in America (ed. Abayomi Animashaun) and Anywhere But Here: Black Intellectuals in the Atlantic World and Beyond (eds. Kendal Radcliffe and Jennifer Scott). She is the author of two volumes of poems, Maroon (Curbstone Press, 2001) and The Dear Remote Nearness of You (Barrow Street Press, 2016).
Click here to view the Selebrasyon! 2016 calendar of events!
DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 26th | 3:30pm
LOCATION: Bowery Poetry Club | MAP
308 Bowery | New York, NY 10012
ADMISSION: $10 Suggested Donation
Haiti Culture Exchange’s signature literary event inviting authors of Haitian descent to talk about new work. The program will include readings, a book signing/sale, and a discussion with authors Yanick Lahens and Géssica Généus; moderated by Jasmine Narcisse.
This program will be conducted in Haitian Creole and French.
Yanick Lahens is a Haitian writer, novelist, teacher, and lecturer. Lahens attended high school and university in France before returning to Haiti where she taught until 1995 at the University of Haiti. She served in the office of the Minister of Culture. Her first novel, Dans la maison du père, was published in 2000. In 2014, she received the Prix Femina for Bain de Lune. Lahens plays an active role in the development of Haiti’s cultural assets.
Gessica Généus is a Haitian born actress who made her acting debut at the age of 17 in Barikad, one of the most popular films in Haitian cinema. Staring in a number of acclaimed Haitian films, Gessica founded a production company named Ayizan Productions, and started writing and directing several projects of documentary and fiction. Vizaj Nou, one of her main projects, is a series of short documentaries/portraits of personalities that have impacted the Haitian society and that are still living in the country. Her first book Yon Ti Koze ak Sèm (Conversations With My Sister in Haitian Creole), is dedicated to young women in Haiti.
Click here to learn more about Selebrasyon! 2016.
DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 19th | 2pm
LOCATION: Queens Museum | MAP
New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens, NY 11368
ADMISSION: $10 Suggested Donation