LAKOU NOU 2022

Steven Baboun
Robenson Mathurin
Sherlee Skai
Lalin St. Juste

Artists were provided with a stipend of $7,000 in order to build projects and activations that addressed pressing community-informed issues. Lakou NOU 2019 successfully supported 4 Haitian Diaspora artists as articulators for community issues and led to new work that engaged community members. Tasha Dougé used joumou (“pumpkin”) to connect Haitian history to pride and liberation. Dayana Joseph examined the impact of a lack of healthful food resources and financial barriers on resident families. Jonathan Michel explored place by performing Haitian folk music remembered by the community. Marie Saint-Cyr focused on artist career development and shifting cultural biases towards art.

Artists were provided with a stipend of $7,000 in order to build projects and activations that addressed pressing community-informed issues. Community health workshops centered the holistic healing traditions of Vodou in Canarsie. Placekeeping through digital storytelling highlighted the impact of Haitian-owned businesses owners in the rapidly gentrifying East Flatbush. The activation of networks ranging from social services organizations, local cultural institutions, community media outlets, and neighborhood gardens brought artists and their Lakou together to creatively discuss pressing issues facing the Haitian community such as the revocation of Temporary Protected Status, displacement/gentrification, health and well-being, and cultural identity.

Artists engaged in a curated professional development series designed to help them prepare for the challenges and opportunities that will come with cultivating and stewarding space for their projects. The series introduced artists to the principles of social practice, community engagement, program planning and implementation, and impact assessment.

Artists were provided with a stipend of $3,750 for the development, implementation, documentation, and evaluation of projects; access to a network of other artists, community leaders, and local organizations; a platform to showcase their work to varied audiences; and the opportunity to develop leadership skills while becoming more acquainted with social issues affecting Brooklyn communities.

Lakou NOU 2017 Advisory Committee:
Sabine Blaizin, Alicia Boone, Sherley Davilmar, Okai Fleurimont, Veroneque Ignace, Kassandra Khalil, Wynnie Lamour, Régine M. Roumain

In 2016, the programs inaugural year, the first four Lakou NOU artists to participate in this program are true community activists, and received a $2,500 stipend to produce diverse multidisciplinary projects that drew connections between artistic practice and neighborhood concerns in Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush and Canarsie. Drumming set the tone for discussions about health and wellness in Canarsie. Dance navigated the topic of state-sanctioned violence in East Flatbush. Storytelling and video art explored gentrification that is taking place in Crown Heights. Over ten partners, including high schools, tenant organizing groups, libraries, and the national non-profit StoryCorps, were enlisted by our Lakou NOU artists to help them work with local residents toward addressing community issues and building on neighborhood strengths. Their projects dealt with urbanism, place-making, community-building, public health, and empowerment at a time in US history when the Afro-Caribbean people of Brooklyn needed it most.

× LAKOU NOU

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.

RESIDENCY INCLUDES:

  • 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

Other Artist Opportunities

Rasin Lakay
Haiti X New York
Vizyon Atistik