As an art teacher of 13 years, I knew that art could bring joy, yet I couldn't help but wonder, "could art bring joy in the time of cholera?" At a time when the priorities of food, water, shelter and medicine are dire and when the future seems dismal does a week of whimsical art making, face painting and dance parties seem reasonable? The short answer: YES!
The week was spent moving between the Wings over Haiti school, working with kids in neighboring tent cities, the Angels of Light orphanage and with pediatric patients at Medishare and they were thrilled when we arrived with our speaker system bumping and our bags bulging with art supplies. From origami cranes that hung over the patients beds to sketch books filled with mini-masterpieces, every child enjoyed the much needed week of whimsy. Parents, teachers and caregivers couldn't help but join in on the dancing and doodling too. In the end, we were completely convinced that it is not enough to just survive with the basic needs met, but it is vital to survive with culture, happiness and spirit intact.
We are happy to report that our program was so well received that we were unable to meet all the requests from various programs. So, we are already planning another trip in late summer 2011. We hope to continue to share a creative outlet with as many children as possible. Thank you to all of you who made this first trip a reality. ART LIVES in Haiti!!!