In Haiti, a New Home For Dance
Above: Ayikodans’ new studio (Photos by Ben Depp)
Article By the Caribbean Journal staff: http://www.caribjournal.com
Three years after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti destroyed its studio, Ayikodans, the country’s leading dance group, has a new home.
The new 40-by-20 studio in the suburb of Petion-Ville, will house rehearsals, classes for students and perhaps inspire new works
The Miami-based Adrienne Arsht Center, which has hosted the troupe’s shows in Miami for the past two years, helped support the build-out of the new space.
“Ayikodans represents a real life story of physical and spiritual renewal — when the earthquake shocked our friends in Haiti and we learned that Ayikodans was in peril, we asked ourselves, ‘How can we help? How can we make a difference?’ Miami came together as a community to offer a hand,” said John Richard, President and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center. “Our response is ensuring one of the country’s artistic treasures lives on. We have been given this extraordinary choreographer and dance company that radiates Haitian culture and has something very significant to say through the power of dance.”
Ayikodans, which was founded in 1987 by Haitian-born choreographer Jeanguy Saintus, blends influences from folk dances, African and indigenous Indian art forms, French traditions and voodoo.
“Without the Arsht Center and the compassion and generosity of the Miami community, we would not have been able to rebuild our studio,” said Jeanguy Saintus, founding choreographer of Ayikodans. “We have danced on stages around the world but we will always consider Miami and the Arsht Center our true home away from home.”
Ayikodans has found support from a number of individuals since the quake, including Tom Murphy, founder of Coastal Construction, WIN Group managing partner Youri Mevs and Miami Herald World Editor John Yearwood, among others.
The Green Family Foundation, led by its president, Kimberly Green, has awarded a two-year grant to the Arsht Center to present Ayikodans this season and ensure its return next season in Miami.
The Mayor Is Coming! The Mayor Is Coming!
From the Huffington Post
When Green Family Foundation President Kimberly Green somewhat jokingly suggested getting San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to keynote Americans for Immigrant Justice's annual dinner, even she thought the idea a tad far-fetched. Castro, of course, is the man who stepped up to the Democratic Convention's prime-time podium and proved he could stand and deliver with the best of 'em, including Obama himself, who'd been given the same chance to show he was worthy of anointing.
Better yet, like the president, His Honor exhibited the kind of rock star cool which becomes most evident when the heat is on. And upon convention's end there wasn't a household in the nation that didn't somehow get hot at the prospect of having the Stanford/Harvard-educated chico from San Antone be the Dems next best shot at the White House.
But Kimberly Green, Ph.d. didn't build GFF into the sorta place which saves lives, rescues archives, and guides the light by being near-sighted. And she sure didn't come to establish a program that's the "core component" of what's projected to make the state an annual $78 million and create an estimated eight to 11,000 new jobs in Miami-Dade without fielding some good old-fashioned far-fetched. So with the theme of this year's AIJ dinner in her head, and a little extra skip in her step, Green did indeed "dare to dream." The rest, as we'll see, proves the best and the biggest and the brightest of dreams all begin with a dare.
What makes Mayor Castro such a good fit to host the 2013 Annual AIJ Dinner?
Well, besides his delivering an inspiring and, dare I say, hip Democratic Convention keynote speech, and him being one of the party's most rapidly rising stars, Mayor Castro also presides over the country's seventh most populous city, in the second most populous state. Equally important is that his story's so rooted in immigrant advocacy, which, as the name states, has always been the primary objective of Americans for Immigrant Justice. Oh yeah, and His Honor just so happens to be a member of the fastest growing voting bloc of the American populace. Just ask Obama.
Green Family Foundation NeighborhoodHELP™ to the Rescue
It was a scene straight out of that old campy commercial from the 1980’s. Hoping to relieve her back pain, Ruth Triebwasser went to sleep on a recliner instead of her bed. Sometime during the night, she slid off the chair and could not get up.
In the original television ad for a medical alarm bracelet company, the actress playing the elderly woman who falls, uttered the now famous catchphrase, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” A friendly dispatcher immediately assured her help was on the way. But in real life things are more complicated. And on that day, of all days, she can’t remember why, but Triebwasser wasn’t wearing her medical alert bracelet. “I wear it always. That night I didn’t have it on.”
The frail, elderly Miami Gardens resident would spend nearly 24 hours on the cold tile floor before firefighters broke in to rescue her, and there is no telling how much longer she would have lain there, or if she’d even be alive today were it not for the NeighborhoodHELP™ (Health Education Learning Program) team.
“We knocked on the door and we didn’t get an answer,” said Faisal Rahim, a second year medical student at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. Rahim is one of the members of an interprofessional team that visits Triebwasser once a month as part of the Green Family Foundation NeighborhoodHELP™, a key component of the College of Medicine curriculum.
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|»||Check out our new site highlighting our work in support of Haiti last year.|
|»||Watch GFF President Kimberly Green's CGI Stories segment about the music of Alan Lomax.|
|»||See how the Green Family Foundation NeighborhoodHELP program at FIU changes lives|
|»||Purchase Alan Lomax In Haiti: Recordings For The Library Of Congress, 1936-1937, nominated for two GRAMMY Awards.|