Join Haiti Cultural Exchange for a special presentation by FOKAL on Le Parc de Martissant, a botanical park and resource center located in Martissant, a district in the southern tier of Port-au-Prince, and the future Katherine Dunham Cultural Center. This event takes place on Monday, November 18, from 5:00 to 8:00pm, at the Brooklyn Borough Hall, located at 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, New York. There will be a reception, 5:00-6:30pm, followed by the panel discussion. Presentations will be given by the former Prime Minister of Haiti and President of FOKAL Michèle D. Pierre-Louis, Lorraine Mangones, Executive Director of FOKAL, Thierry Chérizard, Chargé de Mission at FOKAL, and Rodney Leon, NYC-based architect and designer of the United Nation’s slavery memorial “The Ark of Return.”
Le Parc de Martissant represents the very real efforts of the Haitian people to preserve and celebrate the natural environment of Haiti inside of Port-au-Prince’s clustered urban setting. The park is a public space that is designed to serve as more than a mere botanical park, but also as a cultural, educational and recreational space. Covering approximately 42 square acres, the park is home to a strolling memorial for the victims of the January 12, 2010 earthquake, presently open to the public; the Katherine Dunham Cultural Center, currently in its finishing phase, which will host a resource center for residents of Martissant; a state-of-the-art medicinal garden and a large botanical garden. The park is comprised of four private properties (L’habitation Leclerc, the Dunham properties, the Mangones property, and L’habitation Pauline) which became public through presidential decree in 2007.
FOKAL (La Fondation Connaissance et Liberté/Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète) is an independent foundation in Haiti supported by the Open Society Foundations and other international and local organizations. Since 1995, FOKAL has provided a range of educational, human development and economic activities to the local communities and civil society organizations in the country and has become the leading independent organization shaping the future of Haiti.
Photo above: L’Habitation Leclerc in Martissant Park, from http://lemanoiralexandra.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/habitation-leclerc-dream-of-a-living/