Haiti: Through the Eyes of the Wise Elders

12074552_1659246027655866_4286918726364971506_nFACT:  The life expectancy for Haiti is low 50 years for men and 53 years for women.

FACT: Only 53% of Haitians can read and write

FACT: Only about 40% of school-aged children attend school regularly

FACT: Only about 10% of all Haitian children enrolled in elementary school go on to a high school

Project HOPE Art, with the help of donors like you, are dedicated to making a change.

An upcoming workshop spearheaded by Esnold Jure with his fellow faculty members (Winter, Gueldy, and Lisane) will conduct an eight week project for forty-six students.  The objective over the eight weeks will be to encourage the Haitian youth to reach out to the elders of their community.  Through the process of photographic documentation and interviews, students will help these Wise Elders preserve their memories, reflect on their accomplishments, and share their voices.

Subjects emphasized:

  • English
  • Writing
  • Photography
  • Public speaking/ Presentations
  • Interviewing skills

Workshop Budget breakdown

  • Tuition per student: $25 (Tuition for 46 students: $1,150)
  • Salary per teacher: $100 (Salary for 4 teachers: $400)
  • Education for our youth: PRICELESS

Mimi_Edited_Print-2MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

We HOPE you will consider making a tax-deductible contribution, big or small.

  • To Donate via paypal, please send donations to Donations@projecthopeart.org.  Please include a note that contains “Wise Elders Workshop” and your current contact information so that we can make sure you get a receipt for your donation.
  • To Donate via Check: Please make checks out to Hope Art, Inc and mail to: Project HOPE Art, 2322 Humboldt Ave, Oakland, CA 94601.  Please include a note that contains “Wise Elders Workshop” and your current contact information so that we can make sure you get a receipt for your donation.

 Thank you for your support!


Art Farm Camp

Summer Farm Camp in Monterey County

This summer, Project HOPE Art’s Melissa Schilling will lead two weeks of day camp at Monkeyflower Ranch home of Garden Variety Cheese Dairy. Children ages 8+ are welcome to sign up for a fantastical adventure featuring a bevy of activities related to food, nature, farming and art.

Art Farm Camp

Cost is $265
(Two Scholarships per week are available – More info below)

All children should arrive promptly at 11am with comfortable shoes, clothes that can get messy and a sack lunch.
Snacks and Drinks will be provided by the farm during camp hours. 

Sample Schedule:
11am-11:30am: Scientific Sketch Journal Warm-Up (Put on your Scientist Hat and learn to sketch nature like a real Scientist)
11:30-12pm: Nature Hike to observe farm animals and the garden
12-12:30 Lunch on the Farm Patio with homemade lemonade
12:30-1:30 Papier Mache Sheep Sculptures
1:30-2 Free Play
2-3pm: Bread Baking in the Pizza Oven

Summer Camp Flyer

Interested in securing a spot for your child?
Wonderful! Mosey on over to Garden Variety Cheese for more information about the $150 non-refundable deposit and have any additional questions you may have answered!

Scholarships! Scholarships! Scholarships!
Two spots are reserved for low-income campers per session. Low-Income spots cost just $50 for Art & Farm Camp. Simply write a short essay explaining why you would like to attend Art & Farm Camp. Bonus Points if you can amaze us with fun facts about sheep and lambs. Extra Special Bonus Points if you include an illustration of a sheep or a lamb.
Mail your essay to (deadline June 15th):
Miss Mimi
Art & Farm Camp
1480 San Miguel Road
Watsonville, CA 95076


Digital Literacy for 2nd Graders


tablet-tool-with-a-finger-of-a-hand-making-pressure-on-touch-pad_318-33468What exactly can a Raspberry Pi accessorized with an SD card + WiFi dongle, 12 Amazon Fire Tablets,  a Library For All hub and $400 accomplish? These tools are providing lift-off to our digital literacy program. Stay tuned for educational progress reports, Live from Haiti!

Project HOPE Art offers a studio environment where students can learn to express themselves in a multitude of languages with an array of tools. With Literacy Rates on the Rise in Haiti, thanks to the decision to socialize schooling for K-8 in Haiti, the need for Technological Literacy is essential to complete integration into a modern global society.
PHA has partnered with Library for All on the ground in Haiti for a pilot program for 2nd Graders in Cite Soleil.

We are unlocking knowledge in the developing world with our digital library of quality, locally relevant ebooks.”

Support Project HOPE Art with a Donation. 

Thank you to Sora Edwards-Thro of  Unleashed Kids and College of William and Mary (& Rico, a staff member from Library for All) for leading the digital training.
Thank you to Dasher Technologies for providing seed money (just $400!) to jumpstart the pilot program.
Thank you to Haiti Communitere for hosting the digital training.
A BIG MESI to Luc Winter of the RAJEPRE School and Project HOPE Art for coordinating all the digital literacy efforts on the ground in Port au Prince, Haiti.

Next up? Digital Literacy in action. Our 2nd Graders are already working hard learning how to use the tablets and all the wonderful programs that will enrich their education. We think we’ll have to hire THEM to teach the next tablet training.


We’re Hiring!

PHA Logo Position Description – Contract Grant Writer

The Contract Grant Writer will work with Project HOPE Art’s leadership team, Board of Directors, and volunteer program staff to increase revenue by expanding institutional fundraising efforts.

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, we are able to bring someone onto our fabulous team that can re-boot our funding sources and help us expand our educational platform using art + science. Are you our new super star? Are you unflappable? Tenacious? Dedicated to Developing World Education?  Are you comfortable with LOI’s? Collecting programming information and selling it to large scale donors? Awesome! Read on . . .

Our Contract Grant Writer will work in short spurts to seal the deal on grant applications large and small to provide project lift-off to a variety of art based educational initiatives.

Reporting to our Creative Director on the West Coast, this position will be a key member of our Development Team. Must be responsible for supporting the mission of Project HOPE Art by securing grants from corporations, foundations, individuals, and government agencies that support art and science education and service learning programs across Haiti and global education initiatives in developing countries around the world.

mimi rainbow Key Responsibilities
-Maintain and oversee execution of grants
-Initiate ongoing communication with key PHA staff to analyze funding needs, gaps and opportunities
-Research, identify and qualify funding opportunities from corporate, foundation, and government sources.
-Develop an understanding of program content to ensure integrity and quality of proposal writing

Idraw_Udraw-47 Required Qualifications
Bachelor’s Degree required, Masters preferred Minimum of 4 years of professional experience in grant writing and fundraising with successful track record for securing significant multi-year commitments from institutional donors A commitment to the mission of Project HOPE Art a must.

To be considered for the Contract Grant Writer position please submit cover letter, resume, and a list of grants you have successfully secured on behalf of international NGO’s to Melissa@projecthopeart.org – Project HOPE Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer. For additional information, please visit our website at http://www.projecthopeart.org


seek beauty, to find beauty

OJFA in Rainbows

The Rainbow Brigade || Lakansyel Squad … One of Project HOPE Art’s happiest afternoons in a long time. With just $20 worth of scrap fabric, 2 pairs of scissors, a flair for playing dress up, elaborate and inventive braiding skills, some portable lights – we wrapped the orphanage in rainbow braids.
Love Wins!

Our Art Director, Rachel Znerold started the Rainbow Braid idea in the States with various Musical Performers. We brought the idea to Haiti, on a small scale, in homage to the deep cultural history of African Braiding. Braiding hair was one of the few practices that slaves could hold onto and continue to openly practice in the New World.

We wanted to create a project that the girls at the orphanage could participate in with almost zero instruction and put their own flair and ideas into it. We wanted a whimsical, happy project. And we wanted to infuse solar lights into the project outcome as this orphanage does not have electricity and it gets dark at 5pm.

So here it is, the The Rainbow Brigade || Lakansyel Squad:

Braids are regarded as a cultural trait of the African people, and they can also be a fashion statement. The history of African tribes and the cultural significance of braiding is deep and long.

Africa is a large continent, which consists of innumerable tribes. The Massai and Zulu are among the primary tribes. Others include:


Tribal girls have varied cultures, and the hairstyles are unique and used to identify each tribe. Braid patterns or hairstyles indicate a person’s community, age, marital status, wealth, power, social position, and religion.

Elaborate patterns are done for special occasions like weddings, social ceremonies or war preparations. People belonging to a tribe can easily be identified by another tribe member with the help of a braid pattern or style.

Immense importance is given to the custom of braiding. The person who braids hair performs it as both a ritual and a social service. It is an art form taught by the senior female member of the family to her daughters and close friends. The person who braids well is considered an expert. The man or woman who braids does it as a social duty. No rewards are expected.


Mesì Gueldy René et Deesse Aishar Delismond for helping 😘💕

-The Rainbow Brigade || Lakansyel Squad

Haiti: Through the Eyes of the Wise Elders

Midterm Report:

Today was the 4th and also the last day of revision with the participants of the #Wise elders creative workshop.

We have started the October 3rd with 34 people but, 4 more had joined us within two weeks later which make the final interviewing process is ended with 38 participants in total.

During these four weeks, the participants went to meet their respective elder in their neighborhood in order to fill their question forms. On Saturday they come to meet #Jure at HC so as to examine every single question. They shared their responses in front of the class so the others can hear responses of each one, ask questions and give their comments.

This first part of the project is come to an end. It has been a wonderful experience for all of us, teachers and students. We learn things that we did not know before, things we did not learn even at school. In fact, everyone was interested in knowing the answers of others when we meet.

On this last day, we had a meeting with all participants on base. We did a general review with everybody except those who could not come because the socio-political panic that has raised last week between two clan of gangsters in the area of Cité Soleil. This fact also cause two of our present participants had lost their questionnaires while running away under gunshots. Nevertheless, those who were not affected by this trouble and some who were able to save their work brought it. We commented responses. We collected all students’ papers. Planned to take more photographs and refreshed them about the next steps of the project.

As a whole, the first part is ended on a good atmosphere. We take pictures of the team, the participants and go home.

As a reminder, I want to make this refreshment about the next steps of the project Haiti Through the Eyes of the Wise Elders commonly known as #Wise Elders Creative Workshop. We will work with our young leaders to re-analyze and correct all participants work. Work with colleagues to on translation of the papers. Typing and polishing the final work in English then, work on publication.

third round_print_o-13

Help keep Project HOPE Art OPEN (for another year!)

third round_print_o-3We are skipping our annual Donor Dinner this year in lieu of a Holiday Auction. We are also asking for cold hard cash to keep us open, operating and able to help our friends in Haiti for another year.

Project HOPE Art is now a 501C3! To help support HOPE Art and keep art alive for kids in Haiti, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. Your donation is greatly appreciated!Please give what you can, every teensy little bit helps: https://www.paypal.me/hopeart


To Donate via Check: Please make checks out to Hope Art, Inc and mail to: Project HOPE Art, 2322 Humboldt Ave, Oakland, CA 94601. Please include a note that contains current contact information so that we can make sure you get a receipt for your donation. We are always open to accept donations, large and small. Thank you for your support!


$50 gives art supplies to a hospital $100 provides a classroom of students sketch books to keep a creative journal $250 employs local interpreters for our artists $500 offers the opportunity for orphans to learn a creative trade $750 buys an artist transportation from the US to Haiti $1000 supports “the frame”; what holds PHA together and keeps us creative

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Music class performence in Konbit Soley Leve, June 25th 2015


Since2011, a group of young adults in Haiti, especially in Cité Soleil started a social movement named KONBIT SOLEY LEVE with the purpose to eradicate the rate of vandalism, social conflit between the differnts blocks wihtnin Cité Soleil and to promote fraternity and collaboration between them.

Cité Soleil is internationally known as an extremely impoverished and densely populated of the Haitian metropolitan area and one of the poorest and most dangerous area in the western Hemisphere also one of the biggest slums in Northern Hemisphere.

KONBIT is an authentic Haitian term that describes an old method of accomplishing a large or intense work. Usually they are a group each one of them has their own work but they prefer to combine to help the others in the group and this way they set out evry day to do someone else’s work in the group and sometime they do community work.

These young Leaders chose to name their movement this way first to trace back the method of living together but mainly to unity the people from different block and make them work together for one and other.

KONBIT SOLEY LEVE’s main objective is to work with the community Leaders so the inhabitants of Cité Soleil have a better lifestyle by promoting fairness, collaboration and peace in Cité Soleil. KONBIT SOLEY LEVE uses music, sport such as: soccer and basket game for peace, summer camp, sensitize people, do some workhop any eans to make the idea

Transcend everybody no matter social you are belonging to.

In June 2014, KONBIT SOLEY LEVE launched a program called “Cité Soleil Peace Prize”. This featured program aimed to reward the first 5 social Leaders withnin Cité Soleil that are doing or had done the must recent work and that has a social impact. This year, on June 25th was the second edition of Cité Soleil Peace Prize. Our linkage to the Konbit had permitted us to assist and our music class had been performing in that event. Our music teacher Gueldy RENE and our Education program Director Winter LUC are members of KONBIT SOLEY LEVE, we profite of this event to let people hear our children’s voice as we are promoting better life style for kids and there were many notable persons from various classes in the Haitian attending that event it was very important moment to spread out our objectives through the song of our children “ Children today adult tomorrow we need good care” which is also on Gueldy’s album. They had the opportinunity to perform live.

That was an amazing experience we had the opportinunity to meet lots of eminent people the greatest importance was performing and help the Konbit do this meaninsful job.



seek beauty, to find beauty

Chewed Paper Master: Charlotte Charles, Activist and Artist

seek beauty, to find beauty

seek beauty, to find beauty

To meet 45 year old Charlotte is to meet the soul of Haiti. She is passionate, fierce, funny and vibrant. Not possessive of a vapid bone in her body, Madame Charles will take charge of any conversation and turn it into a confabulation about the rights of women in her beloved Haiti.

After the earthquake she managed a tent city in Jacmel. One of the only women that we know of to hold this difficult position. You can read about her experiences here and watch her here.

Madame Charles, is one of the few female artisans in Haiti. She develops her livelihood as a painter of vibrant Jacmellian papier-mâché . She has also become a mentor to other young women thinking about a career in the arts. A mother to one daughter, she represents women empowerment and encourages more Haitian women to become more entrepreneurial.

About the Horses: Artisanally crafted, these horses are carefully hand-painted and embellishes with an array of materials found in local marketplaces. Embellishments range from sequins, rhinestones, sisal rope, woven banana fronds, wigs, goat hair, glitter and anything else that can be foraged locally in craft stalls in downtown Jacmel. If you would like to purchase one of Madame Charlotte’s chevals (horses) simply email with her US friend, Melissa Schilling (melissa@projecthopeart.org) to make arrangements. Her horses range from $250-350 and support women’s rights arts programming.

About Jacmel: Jacmel is a commune in southern Haiti founded by the Spanish in 1504 and repopulated by the French in 1698. It is the capital of the department of Sud-Est and has an estimated population of 40,000, while the municipality (commune) of Jacmel had a population of 137,966 at the 2003 Census. The town’s name is derived from its indigenous Taíno name of Yaquimel.
The mansions of Jacmel with their cast-iron furnishings would later come to influence the home structure of much of New Orleans. Today, many of these homes are now artisan shops that sell vibrant handicrafts, papier-mâché masks and carved-wood animal figures. In recent years, efforts have been made to revitalize the once flourishing cigar and coffee industries. The town is a popular tourist destination in Haiti due to its relative tranquility and distance from the political turmoil that plagues Port-au-Prince.
The city has well-preserved historical French colonial architecture that dates back from the early nineteenth century and has little changed. The town has been tentatively accepted as a World Heritage site and UNESCO reports that it has sustained damage in the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

About Papier-mâché: French for “chewed paper”, is a composite material consisting of paper pieces or pulp, sometimes reinforced with textiles, bound with an adhesive, such as glue, starch, or wallpaper paste. For the paper strips method, the paper is cut or torn into strips, and soaked in the paste until saturated. The saturated pieces are then placed onto the surface and allowed to dry slowly.
The strips may be placed on an armature, or skeleton, often of wire mesh over a structural frame, or they can be placed on an object to create a cast. Oil or grease can be used as a release agent if needed. Once dried, the resulting material can be cut, sanded and/or painted, and waterproofed by painting with a suitable water-repelling paint. Before painting any product of papier-mâché, the glue must be fully dried, otherwise mold will form and the product will rot from the inside out.
In ancient Egypt, coffins and death masks were often made from cartonnage — layers of papyrus or linen covered with plaster.In Persia and Kashmir, papier-mâché has been used to manufacture small painted boxes, trays, étagères and cases. Japan and China also produced laminated paper articles using papier-mâché. In Japan and India, papier-mâché was used to add decorative elements to armor and shields.


Bon Fet Dokte Koffee

On a sweaty January afternoon, a group of five Project HOPE Art volunteers stepped into a swirling jigsaw puzzle of human sounds, smells and sights. People were milling around on foot and taking up space in a collection of chairs that ranged from the three-legged plastic lawn chair propped on a wall to planks of wood carefully balanced on broken cinder blocks and rocks.
In the midst of the people hurricane was a dark-haired woman in a beige sunhat holding a clipboard. She put us to work painting, singing and embracing the members of the people hurricane.

oo-12 Over the years since that day (four+ years ago), the storm of people vibe has faded and turned into a sweet wealth of friendly faces who have become like family. They know we bring with us music, watercolors and sometimes when Liz Ancker is visiting: green eggs and ham sandwiches.

Visiting the Ti Kay Clinic one day in 2013, I was astonished. The place seemed empty. When I asked Dr. Coffee about it she laughed and said, “Didn’t you listen to National Radio this morning? There is a big hurricane coming.”
I had no idea there was a hurricane in the vicinity.
(Safety Third!)
Since I was there already, I turned on music and set about painting a mini-mural with all the kids at the clinic and quite a few adults.
And that is exactly how Dr. Coffee runs her clinic. She is around when there is no one else. She digs up resources, nurses and meals by rubbing two pennies together and blowing her magic on it.

Today we wish a Happy Birthday to one of our favorite project partners.
Bon Fet Dokte Koffe!

At her clinic, Ti Kay (little house in Haitian Kreyol), Dr. Megan Coffee or Dokte Coffee provides free, high-quality medical care to Tuberculosis and HIV patients in Haiti. Ti Kay, Inc. is a medical non-profit organization that aims to treat, and hence prevent, tuberculosis in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Based at the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince, HUEH (L’Hôpital de l’Université d’Etat d’Haïti), Ti Kay focuses on treating inpatients and outpatients. After the earthquake when the state sanatorium was not functional, the head nurse of the TB program and Megan Coffee, a US doctor, established an inpatient program for the care. The outpatient treatment was expanded after the earthquake.

Project HOPE Art has had the privilege of creating art with Ti Kay patients. Simple coloring projects and face painting added a light to an otherwise bed-bound day. Patients young and old gathered around every available surface with any marker available to join in on our murals. We hope to create some more creative chaos at Ti Kay soon!

If you’d like to donate directly, Ti Kay Haiti has ongoing needs for the following:
14 gauge venocaths
Oxygen concentrators
60 cc luer lock syringes
Small stopcocks
Protein powder
Protein bars
B6 vitamins
Milk powder
Iron pills
Please contact Dr Megan Coffee to arrange shipping at tikaycontact@gmail.com

Music class Trip to Jacmel for recording a song

Thursday 21st 2015, our music class went to Civadier in Jacmel to record a song that promotes children rights and abilities.
“NOU GEN DWA NOU” (We have our rights) is the tittle of the song written and sung by the music class students

We left Port au Prince at 9 AM. all the way long, pictures and videos were taken. We all had fun and enjoyed the moment. we arrived at the studio CINE INSTITUTE at 11: 30 or so. we simply took a little rest, had our lunch and went straight to work.During the recording, after several attempts we finally succed our goal which was record the song.

All the record studio staff were amazed seeing the children singing real enthusiasm and courageous.

Some claimed that is was hard, the way was too long, tiredness but they all had something in common which was their happiness.

After the work was done, we visited the sea shore, passed through caves and went back to surface.
In the last time, we took some pictures of souvenir and Headed back to Port au Prince.

It was really an awesome day, lots of fun.












Key Words
Record: To render (sound or image) into permanent form for reproduction, as by mechanical or digital means.

Cave: A hollow or natural passage under or into the earth, especially one with an opening to the surface

Studio: A room or building where tapes and records are produced.

Mo kle
Anrejistreman: anrejistre oubyen konseve son oubyen imaj pou repwodui lew gen bezwen.

Gwot: yon twou ki fouye swa natirelman oubyen pa moun avek yon pasaj anba te ki sitou gen yon espas ki ouve pou resoti pa deyo.

Estidyo: yon chanb oubyen yon espas byen femen ki la pou vin anrejistre mizik oubyen imaj.

We get by with a little help from our friends . . .

11219025_10153125715936195_336177969033008772_n Last Wednesday one of our favorite project partners, Ti Kay Haiti, suffered a devastating fire (the second time in their operational history) and lost nearly everything.
Utilizing our Bay Area resources we were able to pack a 50lb box of gauze, batteries, clipboards and sharpies, syringes, needles, gloves and various tweezers and scissors to send to Haiti with our friend Jen Hogan.

A big thank you to our friend Mimi Tran for donating $100 to cover shipping costs.
And a big thank you to Patti from Vida USA for donating the medical supplies.

When you donate to Project HOPE Art we do our best to share the love amongst our friends, partners and neighbors. Thank you for all your continued support.



5th Annual Ladies Arm Wrestling Tournament: Disco Edition

Arrrrrre you reaaaady to RRRrrrrumble?
Wrestlers, Register Here: http://bit.ly/1LaXN9A

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

COST: FREE before 5pm! After 5pm-> $5/Ladies $10/Gentleman
WHEN: Sunday, April 19th 2015 – 4-7PM
WHERE: Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 896-1234
Emcees: Betty Tight and Paul Trask
Referee: Alex Mace and Elvis
Beats by Marky Ray of Brass Tax

Print-29Raising money for a variety of art classes and projects with a special focus on our new art + health partnership with Human Rights artist, Charlotte Charles.

“In an artistic nod to the core of all the beautiful women (sisters, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, aunts, cousins) that we work with, Project HOPE Art is proud to announce the birth of our newest endeavor, Art + Health Lab — Project Pap Smear.

Nurse Practitioner and Artist, Tara Jean Reilly will be partnering with Photographer Melissa Schilling and Human Rights Activist, Rape Victim Supporter and Artist, Charlotte Charles on a listening tour. The goal is to connect with 20 women who live in the very rural mountains above the artistic community of Jacmel, Haiti.
Many of these women have suffered abuse.
Some have never been seen by a doctor in their lives.
Some can read, some can not.
Some have children, some do not.
The goal is to really listen to them and formulate a plan to infuse their lives with healthful information, resources and practices based on their needs and wants.”

Music Class is Jammin’!

IMG_4735_wThe Project HOPE Art Art + Music Lab is alive and thriving, celebrating the joy of song, movement and sound with Haitian children in Port Au Prince. Last November 2014, The Project HOPE Art Team brought down three giant suitcases filled to the brim with donated instruments- ukeleles, guitars, melodicas, horn instruments, a keyboard, recorders and drums- for the students to learn with!  The children were thrilled at the sight of the array of instruments, and during the first music class, each student had a chance to hold, play and experiment with each new instrument, and began practicing together on basic drum and recorder tunes. And man! Do these kids have rhythm! Every student is allowed to take home their very own recorder to practice on, while the remaining instruments stay at the art center for everyone to share for the duration of the music class.

The Rythmn and Recycling Workshop, led by artist Rachel Znerold and Haitian musician Gueldy René, and supported by PHA founder Melissa Schilling and PHA Technology Teacher Christine Rosacranse, kicked off the Music Class with back-to-back weekend workshops in late November. Using recycled materials, from t-shirts and trims to bottle caps and buttons, each student constructed a musical costume that made a joyful noise with every stomp, shimmy and shake. The students practiced drawing and painting their favorite instruments, and using tin cans and pebbles, the students even constructed their own handmade percussion instruments, and adorned them all using glitter and paint.

During the second weekend, local musician Gueldy René wrote a new song  for the children, who learned the song and dance routine by Rachel Znerold that same afternoon. They students caught on quickly, adding their own flair to each movement, and the very next day, complete with musical costumes and choreographed dance moves,  the Music Class performed together for the first time ever at the Project Hope Art Graduation Ceremony for the Gardening Class. PHA Artists Sarah Boll and Liz Ancker were on the scene to create a festive Graduation Party, bursting with the energy of all the people, plants, art, music, and dance! The performance was a great success and the music class was buzzing with the excitement of creating music together.

Now, each Saturday, the students come from orphanages and schools throughout Port Au Prince to the Music Class at The Project HOPE Art Center to be taught by Gueldy, Juré and Winter– it is a weekly chance to escape to a beautiful community center to practice their instruments, learn how to read music, share the joy of song and enjoy a healthy meal together every week. Thanks to our generous donors, Project HOPE Art is able to provide weekly music classes for these students for the next several months, but we need your continued support to help the music and learning grow through the end of the year!  If you can help, please DONATE NOW!!


“I can’t find words to explain my gratitude to you, thank you…. Thanks for all the support, I hope when I play, that will make your ears fun!” -Luciano

“Thank you to Rachel, Melissa and Gueldy! With their help now I reading to play guitar.” -Wilka

 Help Keep the Music Alive!!! DONATE NOW to Project HOPE Art!



The Traveling Rainbow Cabinet of Fun

pha-art-center_final-concept_b-1-e1355946878102 The only thing that beats a good plan, is a better plan. We find that collaboration brings us closer and closer to the best plans in the world.

Enormous thanks to Sam Bloch and Elizabeth Marley for collaborating on the early vision of our art center / storage container. Immense, gratitude to the NGO family over at Communitere for supporting our ideas, visions and plans. Especially Delphine Bedu and Caroline Etienne for handling so many nitty gritty details on our behalf.

In 2013, our rainbow cabinet was built by master craftsman, Jason DeCook and then painted in the colors of the rainbow by our friend, Aimee Gaines. Our Lady of Art was created by our friend Julie Koopman and she stands watch over all the visiting artists and their projects.


From our little spot in the workshop at Communitere we launched a number of projects, including Let There Be Light 1 and Let There Be Light 2. Thank you to artists Jenni Ward, Luc Winter, Racine Polycarpe, Claudel Cassius, Jason DeCook, Aimee Gaines, Shrine, Moon and Jade for all the hard work to make art in Cite Soleil.

857808_10152525576805567_1944484788_oFor the last two years our rainbow cabinet has lived at Haiti Communitere stuffed to the brim with paint, paper, pastels, brushes and a ton of glitter.
For the last two and a half years we have held puppet shows, dance parties, recycled trash makeovers and more than one bicycle blender fruit smoothie extravaganza.

Haiti Communitere was a perfect home for us and all of our sparkling trinkets of inspiration and creativity. Free spirited artists must keep moving, so onward we go.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On February 15th our little Cabinet of Fun bid adieu to HC. We hope it left a trail of glitter so everyone could find their way to us in our new home in Pacot. Our cabinet is now parked in the Pacot neighborhood next to the Hotel Olofson. The keepers of the cabinet are 20 young ladies who are excited to put its contents to good use.

And with our move, comes new projects and collaborations …

  • We will be working with Emy Morse at her art school in Montan Noir.
  • We are also launching an art project with Human Rights activist and FOSAJ artist, Charlotte Charles and The Haiti Initiative’s Kara Lightburn in Jacmel.
  • And this summer we will be launching a summer gardening class with Rebuild Globally and SOIL.
  • “These are the days of miracle and wonder. This is the long distance call.” -Paul Simon



    Hello 2015!


    There is life changing magic in tidying up. De-cluttering, giving things away, simplifying and taking a step back to see what is necessary and what simply takes up space. As the London Times puts it, sometimes “something is quietly profound: that mess is often about unhappiness, and that the right kind of tidying can be a kind of psychotherapy for the home as well as for the people in it … Its strength is its simplicity.”

    15075790741_5157a4874f_o So guess what?!
    We’ve unloaded our beautiful art center at Haiti Communitere. For 2015 we packed up our art essentials and brought them to our favorite girls orphanage to store in rainbow cabinets. And our gardening supplies now live at Rebuild Globally, just waiting for our Gardening Class relaunch.
    Instead of paying $500/month in rent. We are paying just $25 a month.
    We’ve downsized, simplified and are going back to our roots.

    While we have downsized our stuff. We are gearing up to maximize our impact. We have many classes, workshops, partnerships and artist internships up our sleeves for 2015 and 2016. Please stay with us in the coming years. So many beautiful children, teachers, community leaders and artists depend on your support to keep Project HOPE Art flourishing.

    We operate on just $10,000 a year.
    Please consider making a donation so our wheels keep spinning, our lights keep flashing, our paint brushes keep splashing color and our speakers keep boldly blasting beats!


    Joyeux Noel, Tout Moun!

    1st Music Class, November 15th, 2014

    Today we launch with the music class of Project Hope Art at HC. All students did not attend the class today, but the little we have had and some personal informations. And the music teacher gives a preview of we are going to learn during the course and start teaching some of the basic knowledge that is mandatory to learn music. To end to class, some English words related to music were given.

    Key words
    – Chord: three or more musical tones sounded simultaneously.

    – Note: a musical sound

    – Scale: a series of musical tones going up or down in pitch according to a specified scheme.

    – Ako: twa oubyen plis son ki sonnen ansanm

    – Not: Yon son mizikal

    – Gam: yon seri de son ki monte oubyen desann nan menm wote ki akode ansanm



    Photo Philanthropy Essay | Wings for Tacloban

    Each year, PhotoPhilanthropy puts out a call for visually expressive photographic essays that tell the story of non-profits the world over. This year, Jamie Lloyd and I put together a joint essay about our time in Tacloban, Philippines.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    Soaring above your everyday struggles, free like a bird. It’s an idea we’ve all wished could come true in times of difficulty and stress. Fueled by generous donations, Artists Jamie Lloyd & Melissa Schilling (along with community organizer, Justin Victoria) were able to gift children (and their families) living in the tent cities and bunkhouses of the Tacloban disaster zone the ability to fly above their problems. Wings for Tacloban are imaginary art wings created for children.




    It has been one year since Typhoon Haiyan, the world’s biggest-ever storm to make landfall, struck the central Philippines – killing more than 5,200 people, displacing 4.4 million and destroying $547m in crops and infrastructure.
    In Leyte Province, 70 to 80 percent of the area was destroyed. Tacloban, the capital of Leyte, where five-metre waves flattened nearly everything in their path, suffered more loss of life than any other Philippine city. Outside the town centre, in a hillside cemetery, city workers have dug a mass gravesite which stretches along 100 metres.
    Much of Tacloban has been turned to rubble, leaving many survivors homeless and dependent on aid.
    Visiting the city, it is clear that – despite the help of the international community – it will take a very long time for the town to recover.





    About the Bunkhouses of Tacloban
    The bunkhouses are made of corrugated sheets, plywood and coco lumber and measure
    8.64 square meters. 27 Bunkhouses in the San Jose District of Tacloban with water and electricity have been completed as of April 1, 2014. Another 66 remain to be built and equipped with basic necessities. Each bunkhouse has 24 units, although big families are given two units. The partition per unit was collapsed to accommodate bigger families.
    We be painted broken down concrete walls, plywood, an old kitchen wall — with chalkboard paint in a variety of colors. Once dry, we cured the walls and armed the occupants of the bunkhouses with chalk. We hope to encourage creative thinking and hope.
    Close to 2 million families were affected by the weather disturbance, considered to be the strongest typhoon on record to make landfall. 30 countries have already pledged financial and humanitarian aid amounting to 2.366 billion to victims of super typhoon Yolanda.





    Artist Statement
    The Wings: Project HOPE Art is an art collective that responds to disaster with pencils, paints, music and imagination. We want to remind the children of Tacloban that they can overcome obstacles by gifting them the power to fly with wings. These wings do not just live on the chalkboard or wall. These wings belong to them and will allow them to fly and rise up above their problems, environment and situations. They should use their wings not just to solve their own problems but those issues facing their communities at large.
    Nothing can stop a large group of living angels.
    The project outcomes are multi-leveled.

    In the simplest terms children are encouraged to have a fun portrait snapped, printed and handed over. A memory to serve as a reminder to overcome obstacles and head towards dreams and goals. Our mobile printing studio was set-up onsite inside the tent cities and bunk houses. Children watched as each digital image was edited on smart phones and ipads and then sent to the mini-printer. A 4X6 image was spit out seconds later.

    In addition to print portrait images, community message boards were created and left behind in every area. A frank discussion was started amongst parents, teachers, community organizers and children regarding their personal paths since Hurricane Yolanda. Lessons were taught about transforming simple, everyday ingredients into action-based toolkits.
    We painted everything from a de-constructed kitchen wall in the No-Build Zone to the shell of a school classroom in Palo. We created double sided chalkboards with plywood. We painted over graffiti with bright primary colors and created sleek, glossy spaces to draw, write and dream.



    See our Wings Art Project in Haiti, featured in School Arts Magazine: http://www.schoolartsdigital.com/i/141579/54


    Thank You | Left Coast Power Yoga


    A big thank you to our friends at Left Coast Power Yoga who hosted a fundraiser for us on Saturday night. A special thanks to Andrew Abrass for donating a trumpet and trombone for our 2014/15 Music Class.

    We made $460 in one magical evening. Hooray!
    Project HOPE Art is excited to announce the RHYTHM & RECYCLING workshop this fall to kick off the Music + Art Lab at the Project HOPE Art Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti!

    Interested in donating Musical Instruments?
    Click Here!

    This November 2014, Bay Area artists Rachel Znerold and Melissa Schilling will travel to Haiti to collaborate with art teacher and musician Gueldy Rene on a week-long children’s music and art program —a multi-dimensional music, costuming and performance workshop, all inspired by and using recycled materials. Gueldy Rene will work with the students to learn the foundations of rhythm, beat, flow and connection, creating a musical composition with their motley array of recycled instruments (PVC Pipe Drums and 2Liter Bottle Horns), alongside donated ukeleles, guitars, kazoos, accordians, and traditional RaRa and Konpa instruments. Rachel Znerold, supported by other members of Project HOPE Art, plans to lead the students through a musical costume workshop, creating sound-making outfits and props out of recycled materials—imagine bottle-cap-string skirts jingling and plastic bag dresses swooshing, while all feet are tap-tapping to the beat of the musical accompaniment.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.


    Got Internship?

    Wanted: Summer/Fall 2015 Internship

    Internships are challenging opportunities for aspiring international relief and development practitioners. They are a chance to apply your education and experience to hands-on projects that contribute to Project HOPE Art’s efforts to help people turn the crises they confront into the opportunities they deserve, in support of our mission to inspire, heal and improve the quality of life for children in need through the creative process of art.

    Internships are open to undergraduate and graduate students, recent graduates or individuals exploring a career shift and looking to gain experience with Project HOPE Art.

    We have internship opportunities year round with the greatest number during the summer. Anyone with English language skills and a wifi connection is eligible to apply. Those located in the San Francisco Bay Area given preference.

    If there is a potential match, the applicant will be contacted. Final candidates will be interviewed in person, when possible, or by phone.

    To apply submit a current resume and well written cover letter to:


    Valedictorians of the Garden Class

    An interview with the three best students of the gardening class with Esnold Jure.
    To visually reflect with us about the last 32 Weeks of our Gardening Class, click here.
    photo 4
    Luciano JOSEPH is a teenager from Cite Soleil, Haiti and is a senior at Petion High School. He was referred to the gardening class of Project HOPE Art by an old friend named Occidor, who was aware about the project.
    Luciano is a good-natured boy, very attentive and also industrious. I had the chance to interview him, here is what he said about his experience.

    “I really love the class and I’m so satisfied for having participated in this program. It’s amazing and very instructive. The most interesting course for me was the compost preparation and I get a lot out of it. I already loved agriculture and when I leave high school I wish to enter at university to study agronomy.
    I want to thank all the supporters of Project Hope Art, their energetic manager, especially Melissa SCHILLING for this meaningful project. I ask to keep on supporting us, especially the youth because we are willing to go even further than we can imagine”.

    Luciano continues to advise the younger children to keep going to school, believe in themselves and their potential. He believes they should never give up the chance of learning something new so their dreams can come true!


    Calherbe SAINT-CLAIR is a teenager from Bois-neuf, Cite soleil and is the third child in a family of four children. He was selected to join the gardening class due to his success in a previous English class of Project HOPE Art, in which he has finished as the Top Student. Here is what Calherbe stated about his experience at the end of the program.

    “I’ve already been keen to know about agriculture. I used to plant vegetables at home and used to help others In this domain. therefore I was really interested in attending this class so as to involve myself with more accuracy according to the methods.
    This program is meaningful to me. I learn lots of new things mostly about space management. It helps to how to harvest correctly my vegetables. Now I would like to commit myself tom helping others in figuring out how to better manage their environment and become more sensible to the area’s treatment.
    I’m thanking Project Hope Art for doing such a good job and I hope they can still work with to help us live up to our potential.
    I want to tell the other people to become friends with the environment and always try to learn something that can help in their future life.”

    Mayco JEAN-BAPTISTE is living at Cite Soleil and is the last child of his family. He has joined the group thanks to the god-father of one of his older brothers who has seen his intelligence and made him attend the class. Mayco was asked to share his feeling at the end of the course here is what he had to say.

    “I did not love gardening before. I did not know if I had any passion for it at all. And my brother’s god-father did not tell me if it was in a gardening class that he signed me up for. But when I started attending the class I finally appreciate it, and I was even considered to be the cleverest student. I haven’t thought if I would become so hooked in such a short time.
    Now I want to increase my skills I would like to involve in a long term gardening project.
    I want to say thank you to Mimi and all who have committed to make it grow. I invite you to keep us in consideration for it is not over I would not like that we lose what we have already learned.
    I want to say, especially to the younger children -that you are capable, just DO NOT SAY NO even though if it is your first reaction. Find a way to say YES and Try the new thing that you are facing.”


    Haiti Five Years Later: Women on the Ground

    For just $10 you can hear the powerful words of four incredible women.
    Join us as we inspire, educate and present: Haiti!


    Tue, Dec 2 2014 – 6:30pm
    Malya Villard-Appolon, Founder of KOFAVIV
    Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis, Ph.D., Former Prime Minister of Haiti
    Nicole Phillips, Esq., Attorney for the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
    Megan Coffee, M.D., Ph.D., Founder of Ti Kay Haiti

    “Gason konn bouke, men pa fanm.”—in Kreyòl
    “Women’s work never ends.”

    On January 12, 2010, Haiti was hit by a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake, killing approximately 150,000 people and crippling the nation. The earthquake and its 52 aftershocks exacerbated longstanding challenges of housing, sanitation, health care and gender violence. Five years later, Haiti is still picking up the pieces, often with women leading the charge. Hear the incredible stories of women on the ground, from Dr. Megan Coffee who went to Haiti to treat earthquake victims and never left, establishing and running a tuberculosis clinic in Port-au-Prince, to Malya Villard, a victim of rape in Haiti who boldly founded and now runs KOFAVIV to uplift victims of sexual violence, despite threats against her life for doing so.
    Tickets Here

    Learn More about This Event on December 2nd, 2014:
    CC Site: http://bit.ly/Haiti-info

    Facebook: http://bit.ly/Haiti-fb

    EventBrite: http://bit.ly/Haiti-EB

    August 9th, 2014 – 22th Week of the gardening class

    This Saturday, 22th week of the gardening class. The class becames more and more excited and awesome as we go straight to the end of the course. The students are asked to bring a summary of the program from the begin in to the end and the best tree ones will be selected and presented by his or her redactor on the day of the graduation. To help them out, the garden teacher starts reviewing with them so they could easily do their summary. To end the class, the English teacher reviews with the students the main word and themes, which have been seen all the way through the program.

    Key words
    – Summary: a concise statement of the main points.

    – Graduation: The act or ceremony of delivering diploma to a group of student after achieving an academic degree.

    Mo kle
    – Rezime: Yon bref diskou kipale de tout gwo Pwen oubyen tem.

    – Gradyasyon: Seremo reyalize pou bay diplom ak yon gwoup elev apre yon fomasyon nan yon domenn.