February 10, 2015
Dear Friends,


From January 16th through the 25th, I traveled to Haiti with an intimate group, including HCX staff members Jessica Tong and Erika Pettersen. All of my fellow travelers were discovering the country for the first time. It was quite an experience! Our home base was The Park Hotel, a family run hotel located on the Champ de Mars in Port-au-Prince; and our journeys throughout Haiti were made possible by our driver Belizaire, who indefatigably took us on our daily adventures.


With numerous opportunities to discover Haiti through the arts and culture, the HCX staff was able to build direct relationships with organizations, presenters and working artists. On our very first day, we headed to the Oloffson Hotel where we met with photographer Daniel Morel. Daniel was gracious enough to personally bring us to visit his stirring photo exhibit of the earthquake, SONJE, and introduce us to artist André Eugène.  


The Kreyòl Jazz movement was well-represented during the PAP Jazz Festivalwith fantastic performances by artists such as ChardavoineTi SAX, Rutshelle Guillaume, and Thurgot Theodat. It was delightful to hear traditional tunes, such as Latibonit, taking on a new life in the hands of these musicians. The festival's after hours jam session at Press Café served as a great meeting place for a conversation with Princesse Eud and BeLO which inspired some interesting new program ideas for Mizik Ayiti 2015. 


I was also pleased to host our second An n' Pale in collaboration with Fokal. Our featured guest Allenby Augustin shared his work at Akoustik Prod, an organization that works to preserve Haiti's traditional arts via public programming. An overnight trip to Jacmel provided me with the wonderful opportunity to speak with students from the Audio Institute, who had great insights and questions about arts presentation and community building. Also while in Jacmel, Prince Luc and Dieufel Lamisere of FOSAJ and HAITIDANSCO gave us a grand tour of their space and allowed us to sit in on a dance class.  


What stood out for me during these meetings and discussions is that Haitians have a strong desire to participate in the cultural development of their country. Artists, students, festival organizers, and cultural organizations are working to ensure that Haiti's dynamic and evolving culture endures. This work needs our engagement and support. The next time you are in Haiti, plan a visit to some of these wonderful, art-filled places! 

All in all, it was a wonderful (and slightly exhausting!) trip. Take a look at more highlights below and stay tuned for new programming in 2015!



- Régine M. Roumain, Executive Director of HCX

Some highlights from the third HCX to Haiti Exchange Trip include...

9th Annual Port-au-Prince Jazz Festival

Planning our cultural excursion during the PAP Jazz Fest, it was exciting to see talented Haitian musicians presented among an internationally acclaimed roster of jazz artists. 


Ti Sax

Thurgot Theodat

An n' Pale | Café Conversation with 
Allenby Augustin of Akoustik Prod

HCX held our second An n' Pale | Café Conversation in Haiti on Friday, January 23rd with Allenby Augustin of Akoustik Prod, a cultural organization based in Port-au-Prince. 

Atis Rezistans & SONJE on the Grand Rue

Stopping by Atis Rezistans, we met with Daniel Morel and André Eugène and visited the art work. Corridors, walls, and open air spaces filled with art made from recycled materials evoking different emotions. The space felt at once sacred, private and yet very public. André was a very welcoming host -- he spoke to us about his work, training of younger artists, and his recent exhibit at the Grand Palais in Paris, France. It was a unique and memorable moment for all of us.    

As the ground began to shake on Tuesday, January 12th of 2010, photographer, Daniel Morel, quickly grabbed his camera and took to the streets to capture the devastation. News quickly spread across the world and Daniel's photos were the first to hit the airwaves. 

To commemorate the 5 year anniversary of this tragic event, Daniel curated an impressive selection of prints, currently exhibited at Atis Rezistans. If you are in Haiti, definitely check it out! 

Notre Regard: Exposition Photographique

Exhibited at three distinct venues: Le Centre d'Art, FOKAL and Martissant Park, as part of a photography workshop, 13 photographers took to the streets to show their unconventional view of Port-au-Prince. 
Upon entering the Village Artistique de Noailles in Croix des Bouquets,  you hear an orchestra of metal clangs and laughter as the artisans shape and mold their works while greeting new visitors. Original metal work now on sale at the HCX Boutik!  
Moulin Sur Mer: Musee Ogier-Fombrun
The Ogier-Fombrun Museum has artifacts dating back to the pre-colombian era to the colonial times of 1794. Recovered by architect Gerard Fombrun, who very recently passed away, HCX received a private tour from his daughter and current Director, Mireille Fombrun.

HCX extends our deepest condolences to the entire family. 

Ciné & Audio Institute in Jacmel

During our last visit to Jacmel, the Audio Institute was under construction and working to create new classrooms to join the Ciné Institute. This year, the HCX team received a guided tour of the newly built audio studios and had the opportunity to speak with the students about their work. We look forward to continuing the dialogue and finding new and exciting ways to partner with both schools! 

Special thanks to Paula Hyppolite, Zach Niles
and the entire staff!
Fosaj Art Center

Meeting in Jacmel with Prince Luc, Director of FOSAJ, and dancer Dieufel Lamisere.

Artisan Business Network

Visiting our friends at Artisan Business Network! Visit the HCX Boutik for a one-of-a-kind vase or jewelry!

Martissant Park

A special memorial created by artist Pascale Monnin hangs gracefully in the massive Mimi tree. This newly created work to honor the victims and survivors of the earthquake sets the tone for a visit to Martissant Park

The newly inaugurated Katherine Dunham Cultural Center and library is a beautiful space filled with books, rooms for children to read, and a computer lab.  What a wonderful accomplishment and asset for the surrounding community! 

RAM at Hotel Oloffson

The HCX team danced the evening away with RAM, a Haitian roots band known for its enthralling music. If you are in Haiti on a Thursday night, make sure you don't miss this fun night out!

Read our Feb. 2014 recap here.

Read our Nov. 2012 recap by here.
Naiika Alfred had to say about her first journey to Haiti...

"I got back from my trip a little over a week ago, and, I'm still processing all of my experiences. Haiti left me both full and ravenous! I felt so well nourished by my beautiful people: hardworking, proud, supportive, helpful, hilarious (!!), creative, and I cannot forget or knock their hustles. I was enriched by the food, the landscape, the AMAZING conversations, the art, the MUSIC, the everything!!! And, I'm left hungry for more. I cannot wait to go back, but I'm thankful that there are so many folks of the diaspora embodying the country's spirit and sharing our culture here. I'm grateful to Régine and Haiti Cultural Exchange for making my first trip of many an unforgettable experience."
Mèsi Anpil!
Thank you to our travelers: Lashawn, Naiika, Seth, Meg, Erika & Jessica!

Nou ta renmen di yon gwo mèsi a tout moun an Ayiti ak nan Etazini ki te ede fè vwoyaj sa yon siksè. Mèsi pou tan ou, direksyon ou te ban nou, asanm ak tout sipò ou.

-Haiti Cultural Exchange
This cultural exchange journey to Haiti was made possible, in part, by funding from Association for Performing Arts Presenters and the Creative
Exchange Mobility Fund of the National Performance Network.

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