Hello Wonderful People!
Haiti is a place of extremes. I saw some of the worst places imaginable and some of the most beautiful places imaginable. But what I noticed more than anything is the strength of the Haitian people, the pride they have for their country, and the unwavering aspirations of young people.
We were able to see the orphanage in Carrefour and meet all the beautiful children who lost their parents in the earthquake of 2010. We gave them flutes and their excitement was priceless. We were able to sit down with the staff of Haiti Scholarship Association and discuss various projects: from the primary schools and music school to the feed-a-kid-a-day program and annual medical check up program that HSA also coordinates. Lastly, we were able to visit Cite Soleil and we successfully brought 240 flutes to all the kids and 20 extra music instruments for the music school itself, including: trumpets, a saxophone, an accordion, some violins, a guitar, and an array of African percussion.
Over the next year I will be applying to grants and seeking partners/supporters to help structure a long-term sustainable plan for the arts education program in Cite Soleil, Laogane, and the orphanage in Carrefour, Haiti.
We look forward to releasing the 240 Flutes documentary soon. It was because of all your support that we were able to purchase a camera and begin documenting the project. Now we can share the project with you as well as with grant panelists, art-related friends, other nonprofit organizations, and the general public.
This project may have been about bringing 240 flutes, but the trajectory is to foster sustainable and creative community initiatives.
In 2006, schoolteacher Marcel Jean, director of Haiti Scholarship Association, started the Cite Soleil School of Music in Haiti to combat the trauma of poverty and misery with music and song. The Cite Soleil School of Music soon became the lifeblood of over 240 children.
As co-founder and director of Give Kids Your Instruments, a young-budding 501c3 nonprofit based in Brooklyn, NY, my goal is to get musical instruments to children who cannot afford them. We are also involved in setting up songwriting and ensemble workshops, recording sessions, and creative environments for children in underserved communities to learn and explore the power of music and art.
I see art and arts education as foundational to social change. And I am moved beyond words when I see the tremendous effect music and arts education has on children living in areas emerging from conflict.
Over the past year, as Marcel and I have become friends, I accumulated 20 musical instruments to donate to the school itself – as well as over 240 flutes for all 240 kids connected to Marcel Jean.
We are still in the early stages of creating a partnership between Haiti Scholarship Association and Give Kids Your Instruments and it is important for me to travel to Haiti to see Haiti for myself and assess how best we can work together on supporting music and art for the children living there.
I will be traveling with my childhood Haitian friend Patrick who will act as Creole translator and cameraman. Our flight leaves for Haiti February 14th and we will stay for 9 days in Port au Prince, Haiti.
We will document and share the project online March, 2015. I will also use the documentation of this project as supporting material when seeking grants later this year for the Cite Soleil School of Music.
My goal now is to raise $2,000-$3,600 in the next two weeks to help fund the transportation of musical instruments and the documentation of the project.
Please visit our fundraiser to make a contribution: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sing-soleil-240-flutes/x/9636343