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:

Afar
Anlo-Ewe
Amhara
Ashanti
Bakongo
Bambara
Bemba
Berber
Bobo
Bushmen
Chewa
Dogon
Fang
Fon
Fulani
Himba
Ibos
Kikuyu
Pygmies
Samburu
Senufo
Tuareg
Wolof
Yoruba

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.

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Mesì Gueldy René et Deesse Aishar Delismond for helping ??

-The Rainbow Brigade || Lakansyel Squad

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!!

A HUGE THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING DONORS WHO HELPED BRING THE MUSIC CLASS TO LIFE!!!!

“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.

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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.

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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

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    Thank You | Left Coast Power Yoga

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    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.

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    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!

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    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