Discover Haiti in Washington, D.C.
The Discover Haiti Exhibition represents my heart for Haiti and to see it on display in our nation’s capital was magic.
Discover Haiti is the result of beautiful collaborations. First, I am forever grateful to Former President Bill Clinton for bringing me into Haiti and for being a constant source of inspiration and support. I am also thankful for another opportunity to work with fashion photographer Russell James; this exhibition allowed us to expand our creative partnership by collaborating with artisans like Philippe Dodard and videographer David Belle to create a sensory window into the vibrant world of Haitian culture. Thank you to the Inter-American Development Bank for bringing the exhibition to their Cultural Center and for creating such a celebratory schedule of events. We kicked everything off with a luncheon, hosted by MIF General Manager Nancy Lee, which focused on sharing the IDB’s key findings on Haiti’s artisan sector. Learning that Haiti’s artisan community has the potential to generate $20-30 million dollars and to create 10-15 thousand new jobs reaffirmed the limitless possibility of Haiti’s creativity.
Following the luncheon two of my biggest inspirations – former U.S. president Bill Clinton and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno – held a public discussion on how the international community, the private sector and nonprofits could help Haiti overcome its economic challenges; a truly powerful example of what can happen when you bring like-minds together to create change.
The highlight of the day was the opening reception for the exhibition. The reception brought together hundreds of people from the D.C. community along with a collection of familiar faces I’ve come to know, love and admire such as Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, Sean Penn, Greg Milne, Philippe Dodard, Crystelle Paul, Claire Pierre, Scott Griffin, Ray Chambers, and my Urban Zen team: Isabel Encinias, my co-designer and Marni Lewis, my chief of staff.
My love of Haiti is an on-going story of hope, passion and creativity. It’s also a story that I would love for you to be a part of. I am thrilled to share with you that our Discover Haiti Exhibition will be traveling to London for the Olympic Games this summer and that our Haiti Artisan Project has many new developments in the works. Stay tuned.
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