2010 was rough on Haiti. Already considered one of the most poverty stricken countries in the world thanks to a long history of political violence, Haiti was rocked by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck near its capital, Port-au-Prince, in January. More than 230,000 Haitians lost their lives, and the earthquake devastated the country’s already fragile infrastructure, resulting in a wave of homeless, hungry, and dying people. One disaster was enough to send the country into a tailspin, but in October a cholera outbreak infected more than 2,500 Haitians camped outside of Port-au-Prince. Cholera is still running rampant, and to make matters even worse, Hurricane Tomas hit the beleaguered country in November, flooding much of Haiti and hampering relief efforts.
The international response to the problems in Haiti has been incredible, but the country still needs more help to get back on its feet. That’s where Provocate-Haiti comes in. Provocate is an Indianapolis media outlet, a socially conscious e-magazine that “stimulates creative solutions to difficult problems by connecting global & local, education & entertainment, culture & policy, thinking & acting.” Provocate-Haiti is the magazine’s branch for raising aid and awareness about the situation in Haiti. Together, the Indianapolis non-profit organizations run a number of Indianapolis events and websites, including the new Make Music Matter site, which focuses on Indianapolis music and its connection to global issues. On Friday, January 7, Provocate-Haiti will be hosting A New Year to Haiti, a music, fashion, and art filled fundraiser for the destitute Caribbean nation.
Beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, January 7, 2011, A New Year to Haiti will be held at the ArtSpace in the Athenaeum Building. Featuring a fashion show by Berny Martin, founder of Catou Couture and the Midwest Fashion Week, A New Year to Haiti will combine several different Indianapolis art mediums into one cohesive, philanthropic show. Photographs by Amy King, whose depiction of a Haitian charcoal seller won her first place in the Indianapolis Star‘s 10th annual travel photography competition, will be on display throughout the evening. These stunning photographs chronicle the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in human terms.
Amy King and Berny Martin won’t be the only artists on hand at A New Year to Haiti. Works by dozens of Indianapolis artists will also be on display alongside original works by Haitian orphans and newly homeless street kids. Also on hand will be Indy‘s favorite DJ’s, Cultural Cannibals, who do more than spin records. They’ve also had their hands in several unique design projects, such as a vending machine that dispenses original works of art. New T-shirt designs by the duo (inspired by the original leader for Haitian independence, Toussaint L’Ouverture) will be on sale; Cultural Cannibals will also be churning out the background music. Bring your appetite to A New Year to Haiti: Mass Ave Wine Shoppe, a unique Indianapolis restaurant, will be providing vittles.
Americans are incredibly lucky to live where they do, a country with running water, plentiful food, and shelter for almost all its citizens. Haiti, the recipient of a slew of bad luck in 2010, hasn’t been so fortunate. The work of Provocate-Haiti is essential to bringing health and well being back to Haiti, and A New Year to Haiti is just one vehicle for that mission. Even if Haiti isn’t near and dear to your heart, you can still do a good thing by coming out to see the fashion of Berny Martin, the photography of Amy King, and art from a country that can’t catch a break. Hear music from Cultural Cannibals, eat snacks from the Mass Ave Wine Shoppe, and donate to a good cause. A New Year to Haiti begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, January 7, 2011 and runs until 9:00. This Indianapolis event is completely free, but donations are encouraged. After witnessing the struggles of the Haitian people, it shouldn’t take an earthquake to get Hoosiers to give a little.
A New Year to Haiti at the Athenaeum ArtSpace
Friday, January 7, 2011 from 6:00 to 9:00
The Athenaeum Building
401 E Michigan St
Indianapolis, IN 46204