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), HCX’s newest program, is a creative adaption of this traditional model. This project will provide four artists of Haitian descent with the opportunity to create and present new work by connecting their skills and talents to four traditionally 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 will further their own artistic visions through support from community assets. HCX will facilitate the formation of partnerships between selected artists and neighborhood entities, including community centers, small businesses, and local cultural institutions. These relationships will engage artists with challenges and opportunities unique to each “lakou” and afford access to valuable resources, such as spaces for exhibition or studio practice. Artists will also support each other through conversations around topics relevant to Lakou NOU projects, such as cultural preservation and art in public spaces.

Program Timeline

Lakou NOU Application Period:
February 2016 – DEADLINE TO APPLY IS MONDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2016

Lakou NOU Artist Selection:
March 2016

Lakou NOU Project Development Stage:
March – May 2016

Artists will become more familiar with the different target neighborhoods through HCX facilitated group meetings. These sessions will 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. Artists will convene 2 times during this stage. Project descriptions will be finalized by artists and approved by HCX during this stage.

Lakou NOU Project Implementation Stage:

June -November 2016
This stage will begin with the second installation of HCX’s Selebrasyon!, a biennial festival of Haitian arts and culture. The festival will serve as both outreach and a launching pad for the Lakou NOU projects. The exact duration of the implementation phases will depend on the scope of each project, to be determined by the artist.

Lakou NOU Project Evaluation Stage:

December 2016
The artists themselves will engage in Lakou NOU Project Evaluation by compiling documentation and notes for assessing their own projects. After this period of self-evaluation, artists will present to one another and evaluate each other’s work. HCX will facilitate resulting conversations and provide an opportunity for artists to measure their own success within the context of socially engaged art.

Artist Benefits

  • A $2,500 stipend for developing and implementing projects
  • 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
  • A platform to showcase work to different audiences
  • A chance to develop leadership skills through 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 decent working in any artistic discipline

*Artists are not required to live in the targeted “Lakou” neighborhoods (Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, or Canarsie), BUT must demonstrate interest and commitment to those neighborhoods.

How do I apply?
Applications can be submitted via the online form below. To request a paper application, or if you have any questions or concerns, please email Yushabel Lubrun at yushabel@haiticulturalx.org.
Click here to apply online.
Click here to download a PDF version of the application.