When the devastating 2010 earthquake struck Jacmel, Haiti, Sue Frame was sitting in a restaurant with her best friend, Flo McGarrell. Flo was an incredible artist who had worked tirelessly in Jacmel for marginalized artists including women, the physically challenged as well as those who identify as gay or transgender.
As the earth began to shake beneath their feet, Flo and Sue made a run for the nearest exit, but tragically, only Sue was able to make it out alive before the restaurant collapsed. Sue vowed to continue Flo’s work in Jacmel through the creation of Jakmel Ekspresyon, a non-profit arts organization whose goal is to provide a place for artists to learn and express themselves in a non-discriminating environment. BWB has partnered with this one of a kind organization in Haiti to create a program that will train and create employment for these artists for years to come through the creation of a screen printing studio and business.
Jacmel is known as the arts capital of Haiti-famous for its vibrant arts culture. However, it is very difficult for artists to benefit financially from their work due to persistent political and economic challenges that have plagued the country for centuries. It can also be extremely difficult for these marginalized individuals to be accepted by the community and have the ability to make a living.
But, with the support from the Burning Man community, we can make a real and lasting difference in transforming this paradigm. This screen printing project will be the first of its kind in Haiti. BWB will send ten artists to Jacmel to teach skills in design, screen printing and professional development. There are currently no screen printing services available in Jacmel to create post-cards for the tourism industry or for the various international organizations who work there. This project is sure to be a success and we need your participation to make it happen.
We are asking for your financial support in making this unique project happen. We have just launched an Indiegogo campaign that will fund the residency program and the construction of a screen printing studio.
This is an incredible opportunity to support the arts and a unique program that will make a significant impact in the lives of these artists and for the Jacmel community.
Burners Without Borders volunteers have been closely watching the relief efforts on the East Coast following the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. Our hearts go out to those who are suffering in the aftermath of the storm. With millions of people affected by Sandy and with so many people without flood insurance, the recovery effort will be challenging and lengthy.
BWB has deployed an assessment team to New Jersey, led by BWB Co-founder and Director of Operations for Katrina, Richard Scott. During the 8 months BWB was deployed on the Gulf Coast in the wake of Katrina, Richard’s incredible heavy machinery skills enabled BWB to gift over $1million worth of debris removal to the region. When Hurricane Ike struck three years later, Richard was there to remove destroyed houses, so that those affected could quickly recover and move forward with their lives.
This week, Richard will be meeting with our local contacts in New Jersey to tour affected areas that are not receiving relief assistance. BWB’s mission is to fill in the gaps of the major recovery effort, and we will be looking for the most effective way to accomplish this goal.
Richard is currently in contact with heavy machinery companies who have donated machines to BWB in the past. We are also looking into possibly creating a base of operations in New Jersey for a larger volunteer deployment.
We will be providing updates to this list as they become available.
1. BWB is currently seeking introductions to equipment rental companies that would like to support our efforts.
2. We are seeking a community center or public space in New Jersey to set up a base of operations for a potential volunteer deployment.
3. Do you have information about communities that are hard hit but receiving little help? We want to know about them.
E-mail sandyrelief here: sandyrelief (at) burnerswithoutborders.org with any information you have that can support the relief effort.
You can donate to the BWB relief effort by clicking clicking here.
For those of you who may be unaware, a Burners Without Borders contingent has been in Pisco, Peru for years now, helping the locals recover from a devastating 8.0-magnitude earthquake that took place in 2007. Chriz (aka North) just spent his first week in Pisco with BWB, and we thought you’d enjoy his account of his experiences there.
If you’d like to join Burners Without Borders in Peru, or anywhere else they’re engaged (including Haiti), learn how on the Burners Without Borders website. Here’s Chriz:
Hello from Pisco!
To start, I’d introduce myself as a long-time Burner with a mere 3 days with Pisco Sin Fronteras (PSF), so this is coming from a curmudgeonly old it-was-better-last-year Burner who is a wide-eyed gobsmacked Pisco virgin with a fresh optimistic view. (more…)