Jacmel Arts Ambassadors Headed for Gainesville!


UPDATE: Due to complications with the visa application process and a lack of sufficient funding support, this trip has been postponed until April 2018. We are looking forward to spending then next few months until then building stronger relationships with our partners in Gainesville and planning an even better cultural exchange experience for all involved. You can still support these artists through the links below knowing that we hope to start early on the process for securing visas and plane tickets for the Spring. Thank you!

The Jacmel Arts Center is proud to partner with Sister Cities International to facilitate a cultural exchange between the city of Gainesville, Florida, and Jacmel in November! We will be sending a delegation of 14 of Jacmel’s most talented artists across multiple disciplines to represent our city and our region in a number of festivals, performances, and community art projects in our sister city next month. This is an excellent opportunity for these artists to grow in their skills and discover new inspiration for their art. We are looking forward to sharing our culture with a broader international audience and building our network of friends and creative collaborators that will help us continue to discover greater liberation through the arts!

The Sister Cities program and the organization From Gainesville with Love will be covering all of the team’s expenses once we reach the States, but we need your support to help us to be able to pay for the plane tickets. You can learn more about each of the artists below and sponsor one by clicking on the link in their bio. The cost to sponsor a single artist is just $400 but it will provide a priceless opportunity that will influence them and their community for a lifetime! If you are unable to commit to the full sponsorship amount but would still like to support one of these artists, you can make a donation of any amount with the button below. You can choose to include a message to designate the donation to a specific artist or make it a general gift to the program and it will go towards unsponsored artists. Thank you!




Joanne Celestin

Age 33 – Painting, Folk Singing

Joanne, a mother of 3, has been painting since 2010 when she began learning from her husband, Frantz Augustave, who is also part of the team to Gainesville. She later received formal training through the FOSAJ school and developed her own unique style of intricate geometric patterns and bright colors that depict spiritual symbolism from her Haitian culture. In Florida she looks forward to meeting other artists to see how they interpret their culture creatively and to discover to ideas that she can apply to her own art.

Sponsor Joanne as a Jacmel Arts Ambassador!


Ronald Colin

Age 47 – Painting

Ronald Colin was born into a family of artists and began learning how to paint at a young age from some of Jacmel’s greats that all happened to be related to him, Ig Domond, Elossaint Vitale, and Prefete Duffaut. He has a daughter himself and hopes she carries on the family tradition of art. He enjoys the challenge that creating a painting presents him and attacks each work as if it was an opponent in a contest for him to beat. He depicts scenes of Haitian country life, often with a mystical twist. While on the trip he is excited to see new things that he never imagined he would see knowing that seeing new things inspires the creation of new things.

Sponsor Ronald as a Jacmel Arts Ambassador!

IMG_4313Mackendy Jolicoeur

Age 22 – Dance

Mackendy has been dancing for half of his life since he was 11. He used to wear dance clothes under his school uniform and would go by an orphanage where they taught dance on his way home from school to practice. When his parents found out they discouraged him saying that dance wouldn’t lead anywhere in his life. But he persisted and ended up being able to pay for his own school and support himself through dance. He enjoys dancing both folk styles and hip hop. He is proud to take part in this trip because it will prove to himself and so many others that didn’t believe in him that dance really can lead you places!

Sponsor Mackendy as a Jacmel Arts Ambassor!

IMG_4330Georges William Marshall

Age 57 – Papier Mache

Marshall has been a foundational part of the arts community in Jacmel since the very early days of papier mache creation in the city. Before Jacmel ever became known as the home of the most extravagent papier mache kanaval costumes in the world, Marshall and his friends were introducing the craft to the public through smaller creations. He is now known as leading the effort of innovation in papier mache masks can be. He has raised 3 children all as artists in their own right and enjoys seeing what the new generation of Jacmel artists are creating. He looks forward to the conversations that he will be able to have with new people that he will meet on this trip that will help him gain a deeper understanding of his own art.

Sponsor Marshall as a Jacmel Arts Ambassador!

IMG_4301Edy Louis

Age 29 – Drumming

Edy has been drumming since 2006 when he began apprenticing under the musicians of the Explosion Dance Troupe in Jacmel. He loves drumming because he says it represents a music that vibrates deep within his soul and fills his spirit. If he wasn’t drumming, he says he would be denying a large part of himself that needs to be shared with the world. Through this trip he hopes to share the deep respect that he has for drumming and great value that it has for Haitian culture with others who might not understand the power of the drum.

Sponsor Edy as a Jacmel Arts Ambassador!

IMG_4311Rose Marie Lamour

Age 38 – Painting

Rose Marie was initiated into the world of Haitian painting through the atelier of artist, Parizot Domond, in 2004. After getting her introduction there she enrolled in FOSAJ to finish her art training and now manages her own gallery on the historic Rue du Commerce in Jacmel. She has had the honor of exhibiting her work around the world and has traveled to Europe and around the Caribbean, but this will be her first trip to the US. In Gainesville she hopes that all of the artists present themselves in a way that brings great pride to their home community of Jacmel. It’s a chance to introduce more people around the world to what their city has to offer.

Sponsor Rose Marie as a Jacmel Arts Ambassador!

IMG_4291Jhwins Lamitie

Age 38 – Painting, Papier Mache, Staff Leader

Jhwins has been interested in the arts ever since he was a teenager and was taught the art of papier mache in the studio of the Lambert family. He later enrolled in FOSAJ where he learned painting and developed his craft. He has remained a consistent source of support for the artists of Jacmel as a daily volunteer at the Arts Center where he loves to meet new people and serve the arts community. He is ready to do his part to use the opportunity offered in Gainesville to mobilize even greater support for the Arts Center and build a stronger future for the artists of Jacmel.

Sponsor Jhwins as a Jacmel Arts Ambassador!

IMG_4296Jacques Philippe Jean Pierre

Age 44 – Painting

Jacques Philippe is a self taught artist who has always pushed himself to learn from the community of artists that surrounded him in Jacmel. He works primarily in abstracts and landscapes with a focus on scenes that involve water because it brings him peace. He likes to create scenes in his paintings that remind viewers of the Haiti that existed years ago with the beauty of nature. He looks forward to sharing the diversity and creativity of his city with others that he will encounter in Gainesville.

Sponsor Jacques Philippe as a Jacmel Arts Ambassador!


Frantz Aladin

Age 30 – Papier Mache

Frantz has always been inspired by the reputation that his city has had as one of the greatest centers of papier mache creation in the world. As a kid, he saw the papier mache artists in his community as superstars and wanted to be just like them. He got his chance when the master Didier Cyvil began training him in 1999. He now has become one of the most sought after artists for masks and stage and street decorations for kanaval each year. He prides himself on taking a stronger, more unique approach to papier mache, but he knows that there are many different techniques used for the craft and looks forward to learning some of those to improve his skill during his participation in the cultural exchange.

Sponsor Frantz Aladin as a Jacmel Arts Ambassador!

IMG_4315Manasse Belizaire

Age 26 – Drumming

Manasse has been drumming ever since he was a kid in his neighborhood’s rara band. When he grew older he enrolled in the Dessaix Baptiste music school in Jacmel and later went on to apprentice under the drumming master, Eddy Jean, in Port-au-Prince. It’s the language of the rhythms and the symbolism that they carry that make Manasse love drumming. He believes that it is much more than a beat to accompany a music, but a source of sacred power that can transform any moment into something magical. He hopes that through the music he is able to build bridges and bring greater understanding between cultures during the trip to Gainesville.

Sponsor Manasse as a Jacmel Arts Ambassador!

IMG_4302Betina Georges

Age 27 – Dance

Betina describes dance as a life force that pulses through her veins. Growing up she always loved dancing in front of a mirror by herself, but was discouraged by others to pursue it seriously because it didn’t represent a realistic life path, but that didn’t stop her. When she was given the chance to join Gran Lakou folk dance troupe and learn from Henry Fritzner and Yonel Charles, it changed her life and she began to embrace the importance of dance in her own life. She believes that sharing her culture through dance is a vital part of preserving their history and looks forward to using this travel opportunity as a way to bring greater value to dance as an artform among her home community.

Sponsor Betina as a Jacmel Arts Ambassador!

IMG_4332Erick Lafond

Age 48 – Papier Mache, Painting

Erick is a multi-talented artist who provides tremendous support to the Arts Center not just as a painter and craftsman, but also as our primary project manager for all construction and repair projects. He began his career as an artisan being trained by an architect in Port-au-Prince where he learned to create meticulously detailed models of Haiti’s historic buildings and public spaces. This work to him represents more than just art, but an important effort towards recycling and protecting the environment because of the materials that he uses. He has raised 3 kids that are all also interested in the arts, mainly music. He knows that on this trip he will see things that he has never seen before and that will inspire him to create things that he’s never thought of before.

Sponsor Erick as a Jacmel Arts Ambassador!

IMG_4307Frantz Augustave

Age 39 – Painting, Drumming

Frantz has been painting since 1997 when he began his formal art training at ENARTS in Port-au-Prince. Before he was able to graduate, however, his mother fell ill and he moved back to Jacmel to care for her. Once in Jacmel, he enrolled in FOSAJ and completed his training there. He now creates paintings in diverse styles with imagery from his voudun beliefs and symbols of his country’s culture. He is also a drummer who learned at a young age from his father who was a musician too. During the trip to Gainesville he looks forward to planting seeds that will grow into dynamic and effective partnerships for the artists of Jacmel that will have positive results for generations to come.

Sponsor Frantz Augustave as a Jacmel Arts Ambassador!

IMG_4317Gerald Joanis

Age 37 – Dance

Gerald is a passionate dancer who began as a child just dancing in the street to whatever music he would hear. He went on to apprentice under other Haitian dance professionals in racine and folk styles and he now shares those styles in a modern context all around his country and around the world. He feels it is his duty as a dancer to carry on the heritage of his culture and use it to teach others what it means to be Haitian. He has traveled to Gainesville before and is looking forward to returning and seeing friends he has made their while making new ones. He is also excited to collaborate with the new diverse team of artists that will be able to show the people of Gainesville a new side of Haitian art and culture that they have never seen before.

Sponsor Gerald as a Jacmel Arts Ambassador!

Congratulations to these artists! We can’t wait to see the results of the trip and hear the stories of the art and culture that they will be able to share!

Thank you so much for your support! You can use the button at the top of the page, or this link to donate any amount to any of the Arts Ambassadors.  If you do sponsor an artist at the full amount, we will be sure to send you personalized updates from the trip specific to your artist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s