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Join Haiti Cultural Exchange on Sunday, March 10th for the Culminating Event entitled Smile With the Teeth You Have showcasing and celebrating the work of our 2023 Lakou NOU Artists-In-Residence.

Our four incredible artists-in-residences are Emmanuel Elpenord, Laurena Finéus, Ruth Jean-Marie, and Maxine Montilus.

7 – 10 pm
FiveMyles Gallery, 558 St. John’s Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11213


The 2023 Lakou NOU culminating event explores cultural preservation through the art of storytelling and collective memory. This cohort of artists explores themes of communication, sacrifice, dreams, and silence in Brooklyn’s Haitian community through painting, performance art, dance, puppetry, photography, and soundscapes. The heart of this exhibition lies in the release of narratives we so often withhold.

This free event presents the artists’ work in conversation with each other. Each artists’ distinct approach untangles the challenges of hearing one another across generations. The exhibition provides a vital space for the expression of hopes, traumas, wisdom, truths, and humor.

Haiti Cultural Exchange’s Lakou NOU artist residency program provides artists of Haitian descent with the opportunity to create and present new work by connecting their skills and talents to historically underserved Brooklyn neighborhoods, home to generations of Haitians and Haitian-Americans: Crown Heights, Canarsie, East Flatbush, and Flatbush. Lakou NOU artists develop collaborative community engagement projects that address neighborhood issues and highlight community assets. Artists in residence received individualized mentorship from HCX staff and interacted with each other as a cohort through discussion and support around topics relevant to Lakou NOU projects. HCX-facilitated additional professional development workshops with urban planner and activist Dr. Sophonie Joseph, artist Kassandra Khalil, and a consortium of community stakeholders.

Unlike traditional artmaking, where an artistic creation amplifies a sole artist’s perspective, Lakou NOU residents generated this work collaboratively with community members, providing creative outlets to articulate feelings that often elude verbal expression. The artists-in-residence then combined participants’ work with their own art making. The Lakou NOU culminating showcase will include visual art installations and photography, audio soundscapes, a storytelling booth, an art making workshop, a dance performance, and a puppet show.


Emmanuel Elpenord is a proud recipient of a 2024 Grant from The Jim Henson Foundation.

RSVPs not required, but highly recommended. Entry is first come, first served, so please make sure to come early if you’d like to grab a spot!


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