Lakou NOU Artist Residency Program

Residency Overview

In rural Haiti, the Lakou communal living system embodies the intersection of land, family, and spirituality.  Lakou members develop reciprocal patterns of resource sharing and jointly work the land.  Lakou NOU (“Our Yard” in Haitian Creole), now in its fifth year, is a creative adaptation of this traditional model. Lakou NOU provides four artists of Haitian descent with the opportunity to create and present new work by connecting their skills and talents to four historically underserved Brooklyn neighborhoods, home to generations of Haitians and Haitian-Americans: Crown Heights, Canarsie, East Flatbush, and Flatbush.

Positioning their own creative talents as a component of a collective commons, the artists, selected via an open call, further their own artistic visions while addressing neighborhood issues through support from community assets. HCX helps facilitate the formation of partnerships between selected artists and neighborhood entities, including community gardens, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and local cultural institutions. These relationships engage artists with challenges and opportunities unique to each Lakou and afford access to valuable resources, such as spaces for exhibition or a platform for community conversations. Artists in residence also interact with each other as a cohort through discussion and support around topics relevant to Lakou NOU projects and participate in HCX-facilitated professional development opportunities. Topics include tools for cultural preservation, art in public spaces, engagement in social practice, and implementation of community programming.

Artist Benefits

  • A $7,000 stipend for development, implementation, documentation, and evaluation of projects
  • Professional development activities aimed at building tools and skill sets necessary for community engaged artistic practice
  • An opportunity to become more acquainted with issues in the communities of Brooklyn
  • Access to a network of other artists, community leaders, and local organizations
  • An opportunity to further develop artistic practice through the creation of new work
  • A platform to showcase work to members of the Haitian diaspora and their diverse Brooklyn neighbors
  • A chance to develop professional skills through production, promotion activities, public speaking, networking, and working in group settings

Lakou NOU is made possible in part through the funding support of Ford Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.

About Our Programs

We seek to enrich the cultural landscape of New York City by developing, presenting and promoting a wide array of quality visual and performing arts, as well as educational and public affairs programs including:

  • Performing Arts
  • Visual Arts
  • Literary Arts
  • Youth Development
  • Artist Development
  • Public Forums
  • Community Building
  • Resources & Referrals
  • Ayiti Experimental MIZIKAyiti Experimental MIZIKAyiti Experimental MIZIKAyiti Experimental MIZIK