Here is a press release by Veroneque Ignace, creator/artistic director of the community-based public health arts collective based in Brooklyn, New York, Kriyol Dance!
In Brooklyn, and particularly for the Haitian community thriving here, we pride ourselves on creating spaces for community togetherness and healing, using the tools our ancestors imprinted upon us. Memory, tradition, and innovation become the very tools that help define and generate a spirit of embodied resistance. This is the tenet that centers the work of newly developed artist- collective, Kriyol Dance!
Founded in 2016, Kriyol Dance! is a collective of artist-leaders working together to create one platform advocating for the unapologetic voices of Black arts, and Haitian culture in particular, through collaborative and unified work and intervention. Each artist participating in the collective creates original work focused on the preservation of Black diasporic culture, Haitian culture, and the promotion of Haitian life through engagement arts including, but not limited to, artistic work that involves community voices, community issues, and the Haitian state of affairs. Artist-leaders work to develop innovative and multi-pronged approaches to use art as a tool for commentary as opposed to simply entertainment. Importantly, as members of Kriyol Dance!, we hope to make normative the discussions of Haitian culture that do more than harp on the Haiti’s poverty. We aim to continuously place the focus on discussion of Haitian lives both in-country and abroad.
In Kriyol Dance!, we use dance, music, poetry, and writing to develop, advance, and uplift our communities. Currently, we center this work in Brooklyn, New York and in Port-au-Prince, Haiti through the partnership and lasting influence of Societe St. Michel Archange, its members, and its extended youth community living in Rue Magazine de L’etat. Our work transcends cultural backgrounds and belief systems thereby placing its focus on individual and community wellbeing, public health, and the power of arts to create social change.
Kriyol Dance! Collective envisions its role in the future of socially engaged arts as that which helps to curate the next generation of activists, visionaries, and advocates. Recently in our work, we’ve worked to answer the question: how do we cultivate community systemically, keeping culture thriving in spite of detrimental changes in physical, social, and political contexts? We’re finding that this starts by developing praxis built upon collective consciousness – making community aware of the social, political, and historical realities that seek to limit us, through cultural and social practice, to act in solidarity and essentially transform those realities. This means privileging stories and lived experiences to build the collective self, and unlocking a people’s creative capacity to make change!
Find out more information about what we do on our website, kriyoldance.wix.com/kriyol.
If you would like to partner with us or collaborate on artistic projects please email our artistic director Veroneque, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a performance, visual, and/or musical artist, passionate about culturally-based and community-rooted arts practices, and you would like to join our team, email a short letter of interest and CV to email@example.com.
Contact: Veroneque Ignace, Creator/Artistic Director, firstname.lastname@example.org (718) 844-4094]