Lakou NOU 2022 Artist Residency

The Lakou NOU 2022 Artist Residency, sponsored by Haiti Cultural Exchange (HCX) is now open for submissions. The deadline for applications is Friday March 18, 2022.

Haiti Cultural Exchange (HCX) created the Lakou NOU artist residency in 2016 to address neighborhood issues and highlight community assets in four underserved Brooklyn neighborhoods, home to generations of Haitians and Haitian Americans: Crown Heights, Canarsie, East Flatbush, and Flatbush. Unlike traditional art-making, which amplifies a sole artist’s perspective, Lakou NOU artists-in-residence generate work collaboratively with community members. Residents are part of a long legacy of Haitian artists tackling the socio-political issues with which Haitians contend, such as forced migration, foreign occupations, and revolution. Thus, they are uniquely equipped to engage with the complex conditions of these four neighborhoods.  

In rural Haiti, the Lakou communal living system embodies the intersection of land, family, and spirituality. Former slaves created the Lakou in resistance to the racial and class divides perpetuated by colonial plantations. By organizing around shared land, the Lakou promotes economic equity and avoids exploitation. Lakou NOU (“Our Yard” in Haitian Creole) is a creative adaptation of this traditional model. Haiti Cultural Exchange invests in artists of Haitian descent, positioning their creative talents as resources within local collective commons. They deepen community-led activism, build on neighborhood strengths, and unite diverse stakeholders around mutual aims. 

HCX helps facilitate the formation of partnerships between selected artists and neighborhood residents, including community constituents, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, community gardens, and local cultural institutions. These relationships help familiarize artists with challenges and opportunities unique to each Lakou and afford access to valuable resources, such as presentation venues or a platform for community conversations. Artists-in-residence also interact with each other as a cohort through discussion and support around topics relevant to Lakou NOU projects and participate in HCX-facilitated professional development opportunities and mentorship. Topics include: tools for cultural preservation, art in public spaces, engagement in social practice, and implementation/evaluation of community programming.

Artist Benefits:

-A $7,000 stipend for development, implementation, documentation, and evaluation of projects.

-Professional development/mentorship activities aimed at building tools and skills necessary for community engaged artistic practice.

-An opportunity to become more acquainted with issues in the communities of Brooklyn.

-Access to a network of other artists, community leaders, and local organizations.

-An opportunity to further develop artistic practice through the creation of new work.

-A platform to showcase work to members of the Haitian diaspora and their diverse Brooklyn neighbors.

-A chance to develop professional skills through production, promotion activities, public speaking, networking, and working in group settings. To apply, go to https://form.jotform.com/220316076255147

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