HCX 2020 Lakou NOU Application

About Haiti Cultural Exchange

Haiti Cultural Exchange (HCX) is a nonprofit organization established to develop, present and promote the cultural expressions of Haitian people. We seek to raise awareness of social issues and foster cultural understanding and appreciation through programs in the arts, education and public affairs.

Over the past ten years, HCX has provided high caliber arts programming to nearly 50,000 people and has presented over 400 artists of Haitian descent. Our Arts Presentation, Cultural Engagement, and Artist Development programs support emerging and established artists, promote cross-cultural exchange, preserve Haiti’s cultural heritage, and encourage discussions around contemporary social issues facing Haiti and its Diaspora.

Residency Overview

In rural Haiti, the Lakou communal living system embodies the intersection of land, family, and spirituality. Lakou members develop reciprocal patterns of resource sharing and jointly work the land. Lakou NOU (“Our Yard” in Haitian Creole), now in its fifth year, is a creative adaptation of this traditional model. Lakou NOU provides four artists of Haitian descent with the opportunity to create and present new work by connecting their skills and talents to four historically underserved Brooklyn neighborhoods, home to generations of Haitians and Haitian-Americans: Crown Heights, Canarsie, East Flatbush, and Flatbush.

Positioning their own creative talents as a component of a collective commons, the artists, selected via an open call, further their own artistic visions while addressing neighborhood issues through support from community assets. HCX helps facilitate the formation of partnerships between selected artists and neighborhood entities, including community gardens, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and local cultural institutions. These relationships engage artists with challenges and opportunities unique to each Lakou and afford access to valuable resources, such as spaces for exhibition 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. Topics include tools for cultural preservation, art in public spaces, engagement in social practice, and implementation of community programming.

Program Timeline

Lakou NOU Application Period:
Application Launched December 15, 2019
DEADLINE: FRIDAY, JANUARY 17TH 2020 at midnight--Extended to January 24th at midnight
Finalist interviews — February 10-12, 2020

Lakou NOU Artist Selection:
Applications reviewed by selection committee January 2020
Finalist interviews — February 10-12 2020
Selected artists announced February 24, 2020

Phase 1: Lakou NOU Project Development Stage, March - April 2020

Artists will become more familiar with their Lakous (neighborhoods) through HCX facilitated group meetings during this time. These sessions enable artists to consider their own creative talents as a component of a collective Lakou commons, charging themselves with connecting their skills to existing efforts and/or resources. As artists connect with local residents, organizations and other stakeholders, HCX helps them implement participatory processes and tools to establish relationships that are effective and beneficial for the collective Lakou communities. During this phase, artists will present their proposed project to their Lakou, receive feedback, and adapt their plan to fit the needs of the community.

Artists will also engage in curated professional development activities designed to help artists prepare for the challenges and opportunities that come with cultivating and stewarding space for their projects. The programming introduces artists to the principles of social practice, community engagement, project planning and implementation, and impact assessment.

Project descriptions are finalized by artists and approved by HCX during this stage.

Phase 2: Lakou NOU Project Implementation Stage: June – November 2020

The exact schedule of the implementation phase depends on the scope of each project, as determined by the artist. During this period, artists will design their contribution to the Lakou NOU culminating event. These performances/ exhibitions should showcase how Lakou NOU artists draw connections between artistic practice and neighborhood concerns, while also demonstrating the values of sharing space and engaging in reciprocity with community.

Culminating Event: November 2020
HCX will host a culminating event to showcase the newly developed artistic work of all Lakou NOU residents.

Phase 3: Lakou NOU Project Evaluation Stage: December 2020- January 2021

During this period of self-assessment, artists complete evaluative reports that measure the success of their projects against metrics created as part of their project proposals as well as any additional criteria identified during the life of their projects. The artists themselves compile documentation and notes for assessing their own projects.

HCX facilitates conversations and provides an opportunity for artists to measure their own success within the context of socially engaged art.

Artist Benefits

•A $7,000 stipend for development, implementation, documentation, and evaluation of projects
•Professional development activities aimed at building tools and skillsets 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

Applicant Guidelines

Selection Criteria:
•Artistic excellence and originality
•Residence in or a demonstrated relationship with the Lakou NOU communities
•An artistic practice rooted in community, collaboration, and dialogue
•Identification as an artist of Haitian descent working in any artistic discipline

Additional Requirements:
*Artists are not required to live in the targeted "Lakou" neighborhoods (Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, or Canarsie), BUT must live in the greater New York City area. Short trips, no longer than a few weeks away are permitted.
*Artists must demonstrate interest in and commitment to Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, and/or Canarsie neighborhoods.

How do I apply?
Applications may be submitted in two ways:

• OPTION 1: Written Submission:
Applications may be submitted via this Google Form.

• OPTION 2: Video Submission:
Applications may be submitted as a video response to lakounou@haiticulturalx.org.
•Video submissions may be in English or Kreyòl.
•Videos should be no longer than 20 minutes in length.
•Save the file as LakouNOU2020_FirstNameLastName.
•Supplemental Documentation is still required with your video application.
•Please complete Part 1 of this google form.

Responses to the application questions must demonstrate a detailed and organized thought process. If you have any questions or concerns, please email lakounou@haiticulturalx.org or call 347-565-4429.

Application Assistance
In an effort to increase accessibility to this opportunity, HCX offers application assistance. If you have specific questions, issues with access to technology, or require language assistance, please contact info@haiticulturalx.org to make an appointment for in-person help.

Assistance is also available online. If you have any questions or concerns, please email lakounou@haiticulturalx.org or call 347-565-4429
Email address *
Untitled Title
Part One
Full Name *
Your answer
Full Address (Street, City, State, Zip) *
Your answer
Phone Number *
Your answer
Website + Social Media (IG, FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) *
Your answer
Artist Discipline (Please check those that apply.) *
Lakou NOU resident artists will be working in one of the following Brooklyn Lakous (neighborhoods): Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, and Canarsie. Choose your Lakou of Interest (Please check all that apply.) We will do our best to place you in your Lakou of interest, but if we believe your project is a better fit for a different neighborhood, we may place you elsewhere. *
Why are you most interested in working in your top choice Lakou/ neighborhood? *
Your answer
Do you already have a relationship with any of these communities (e.g. resident, working in this community, etc)? *
Your answer
Do you have a local partner group in mind for this project? (HCX will pair you with an appropriate partner if needed). *
If yes, please list your partner organization. If not, are there potential partners you have identified? *
Your answer
Part two: Answers to the following questions may be submitted in writing below, OR emailed as a video submission to lakounou@haiticulturalx.org. *
What motivates you as an artist? Please describe your creative practice. Does your work connect to a specific community or place? (250 words max).
Your answer
In Lakou NOU, we prioritize community-based participatory practices whereby the community is an equitable partner in inciting, building, creating, and implementing creative projects.
Please propose a project to pursue during this residency. **Please note that you will adapt this proposal in Phase 1 of the residency, after getting to know your Lakou. (250 words max).
Your answer
Please describe the subject matter (social issue or community asset) your project will address and explain how this topic impacts the Lakou you plan to work with. Why are your proposed activities and goals are helpful in addressing this topic? (150 words max)
Your answer
How is the creative strategy of your proposed project rooted in collaboration and community engagement? (100 words max)
Your answer
Describe what you think success looks like. How will you measure the project’s impact? (100 words max)
Your answer
How would a Lakou NOU residency foster your artistic growth and help you develop new work? How might your work be informed by your relationship within a neighborhood? Use specific examples. (200 words max).
Your answer
If applicable, please tell us about a past artistic project of yours that involved working with residents or organizations in a specific community or neighborhood. What were the strengths of the project? What were the challenges? What did you learn? (200 words max).
Your answer
If you are part of a band or collective, will you include your band/ collective in the work you produce during this residency? If so, please describe how you envision distributing responsibilities and funding. If not applicable, please write N/A.
Your answer
Why are you interested in being a Lakou NOU resident artist? (Check all that apply.)
Please provide the name, work affiliation, email, and phone number for two references *
Your answer
Please email one PDF that includes your resume and work samples to: lakounou@haiticulturalx.org.
Work Samples: Please follow these guidelines to share materials that best represent your work. The selection committee will not review additional materials.
•Visual Artists: attach no more than 10 JPGs (preferably at 300 dpi) in a single PDF
•Performing artists, and filmmakers: attach footage or a PDF with link(s) totaling up to 3 minutes of video footage or audio recordings.
•Writers: attach a PDF no longer than three pages in length of original work.
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