Archive for the ‘Ti Atis’ Category

Ti Atis | Introducing Teaching Artist Riva Nyri Précil – by Tassiana Larochelle, HCX Fundraising Intern


Riva Precil

HCX is thrilled to introduce singer/songstress, Riva Nyri Précil as our newest teaching artist resident! Thanks to funding from Council Member Jumaane Williams administered by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Riva is partnering with us for a 10-week arts residency as part of our new “Ti Atis” program at P.S. 361 in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.  This two-session arts residency seeks to expose 2nd grade students to traditional Haitian folkloric dance and will provide an introduction to Haiti’s oral history through storytelling and folk songs.  Riva has worked with HCX numerous times in the past as a performer and artist and we are eager to join forces with her in this new capacity.

Born in Brooklyn, Riva grew up in Haiti where she studied music, folkloric and modern dance, art, and theatre under some of the most important teachers of their genre.  She obtained a degree in Music Therapy at Loyola University in New Orleans and completed a Music Therapy internship at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan. She has had the opportunity to teach music, art, and movement to a wide variety of populations in diverse settings, such as day care centers, children’s hospitals, nursing homes, and middle schools. As a musician, Riva has performed at numerous venues including the New Orleans Jazz Festival, The Jazz Gallery, Atlantic Antic and Make Music New York festivals.  Riva recently released her latest album Perle de Culture. Click here to listen to her latest gem.

DCA This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council.


Posted in Arts, Dance, HCX Programs, Ti Atis, Uncategorized, Youth Programs | No Comments »

Ti Atis | Announces the Return of Teaching Artist Jean-Patrick Icart-Pierre – by Tassiana Larochelle, HCX Fundraising Intern


Patrick Icart

HCX is excited to welcome back “Ti Atis” teaching artist Jean-Patrick Icart-Pierre!

Jean-Patrick collaborated with HCX on our very first community mural project at P.S. 189, The Bilingual Center in the spring of 2012, and is now partnering with us again on our third community mural endeavor at the school.

Born in Haiti, Icart-Pierre emigrated to the U.S. in 1974.  His paintings have been exhibited at The Bronx Museum, the Jamaica Arts Center, Kenkeleba Gallery, the Skylight Gallery, and the Brooklyn Museum. Publications such as The New York Times, New York Newsday, The Standard and The Nation in Kenya have reviewed his work among many others.

Jean-Patrick is an alumnus of The Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science and Art, and holds a Master’s degree in Arts Education and an MFA from Brooklyn College. In 1987 he traveled to Kenya and served as artist-in-residence at the Paa-Ya-Paa Arts Center.  He was awarded the “Artist-in-Marketplace” honor from The Bronx Museum, and in 1994 he served as artist-in-residence at The Jamaica Arts Center in Queens, New York.  He has worked as an art teacher at the Harlem School of The Arts and currently works at M.S. 246 in Brooklyn New York, instilling his appreciation for art in the public school system.

We are pleased to welcome back Patrick to the HCX team!

DCA This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council.


Posted in Arts, Classes, Ti Atis, Uncategorized, Youth Programs | No Comments »

Reflections on The Creative Expression Through Movement Residency in the Ti Atis Program – by Maxine Montilus, HCX Teaching Artist


I was hired as a teaching artist by Haiti Cultural Exchange in September 2014 to conduct a ten-week residency in the Ti Atis program at PS 189K-The Bilingual Center in East New York, Brooklyn as part of the school’s “Arts Wednesdays” for their middle school students. I chose to craft a residency centered on creative movement and poetry, for I was interested in facilitating a program in which students had room to express themselves. I did this with the notion that students would get to select which class they could take in the program. However, the students were separated by grade level in each arts class, and in the process, I ended up with all male students on the first day! (Three female students later joined the class.)

My biggest challenge in the residency was finding ways to keep the students engaged for 90 minutes throughout our time together each Wednesday afternoon. I would often keep activities to 20 minute intervals so that the students remained focused on the tasks at hand. We explored movement principles rooted in Laban Movement Analysis (an approach to dance created by modern dance pioneer Rudolf Laban) and created movement sentences using those principles. I also taught the students hip hop phrases as well, since they loved hip hop music and movement.

Ti atis 2 Ti atis 4

As for the written portion of the program, we explored works by Franketienne, Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes. I also gave them various writing prompts to freely write their own thoughts on topics such as gratitude and their favorite activities, as well as create their own poems. My favorite moments in the program were when I chose to take on heavier topics with the students for their writing. For example, there was one week in which I facilitated a discussion on hip hop, in which the students brought up various issues within the genre, such as misogyny and the use of the “n” word by their favorite artists. On the last day of the program, we had a discussion on police brutality and the use of the arts to combat injustice.

What was most encouraging for me was to see that the students were engaged with the world around them, and critically thinking about social issues in their environment. Being a part of the Ti Atis program left me with questions on how to further work with young people on using the arts for social change and further encourage critical thought on various topics. This was a huge learning experience for me, and I hope my students got as much out of it as I did!

Posted in Archive, Arts, Dance, HCX Programs, Ti Atis, Youth Programs | No Comments »

Ti Atis | Introducing Teaching Artist Okai Fleurimont – by Jessica Tong, Communications and Outreach Intern


Haiti Cultural ExchangeAs we say goodbye to Maxine Montilus, our previous Ti Atis teaching artist, HCX is happy to introduce Okai Fleurimont who will be teaching a 10-week arts residency, Discovering the Music of the African Diaspora, at PS 189 The Bilingual Center.  Held in collaboration with HAUP’s after-school program for middle-school students, the HCX Ti Atis program provides youth of all ages an opportunity to connect with Haiti’s cultural heritage.

Okai has always been involved in giving back to his community through his work with organizations such as Hospital Audience Incorporated (HAI),, and Hip Hop Saves Lives.  Teaching children how to write lyrics, produce a beat, and through percussion lessons, Okai provides opportunities for youth to share their ideas and foster their creative development.

During this arts residency, children will discover the music of the African diaspora including: Blues & Jazz from New Orleans, Hip Hop and Salsa from New York, Reggae from Jamaica, Samba from Brazil, and Rara from Haiti.  Okai will use instruments, audio, video, rap and poetry to help his students gain better knowledge of how the music of the past has developed into the music of the present.  Using percussion instruments, participants start to understand the dynamic nature of music from the African diaspora, examine key influences and struggles, and begin to understand how culture and globalization interact in our daily lives and within music.  HCX is pleased to welcome Okai!

Posted in Arts, Dance, Music, Poetry, Ti Atis, Youth Programs | No Comments »

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