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17th Annual Haitian Art Sale, Auction Raise Critical Funds & Brings Art Into Your World!

Shop for amazing hand-crafted works of art, handmade crafts and accessories fashioned by talented Haitian artists and artisans at the Vassar Haiti Project‘s annual art sale and auction this weekend at Vassar College.

As skilled as these craftsmen are, consider what Vassar alumna Anna Brashear says; “VHP taught me the most useful skill of all, which is always to give of yourself to others. By giving my time, energy, and passion to VHP, I became part of a family and dedicated community which strives to work together with a village in Haiti to make a positive difference.”

The art sale runs Friday through Sunday, September 15, 16 and 17, on the Main Building’s second floor. Proceeds support a number of programs in Chermaitre, a mountain village in Haiti unreachable by road.

It won’t break the budget either. Handcrafts start at just $5, and paintings at $50. All sales are 50% tax deductible as well. Treat yourself, buy a friend a birthday gift, or start your holiday shopping – it all goes for a great cause.

Founded by Andrew Meade, director of International Services at Vassar College, and his wife, Lila, the Vassar Haiti Project has raised more than $1.5 million since 2001. The organization engages college students in a global citizenship curriculum and its fundraising sales directly support the livelihood of hundreds of Haitian artists and artisans.

The projects supported include a medical clinic, a 75-member co-op of village women that supports their families and village, Chermaitre’s primary school, and water access and purification efforts (see details below).  The group travels to Haiti twice a year, taking with them Vassar students and other Hudson Valley volunteers.

“Going to Haiti with VHP during spring break of my sophomore year was unlike anything I had ever experienced," said Jenna Amlani, a 2016 Vassar graduate. "I came out of that trip knowing that I wanted to devote my career to building a more just and equitable world.”

The 17th annual Vassar Haiti Project benefit art sale and auction takes place in the College Center multi-purpose room in the Main Building, second floor, Vassar College. Admission is free. On Friday, Sept. 15, the sale runs from noon – 7pm. On Saturday, September 16, the sale is open from 10am – 5pm, and features a live auction of Haitian art beginning at 2pm. On Sunday the sale is open from10am – 2pm. Hundreds of original paintings are offered, as well as thousands of handcrafts, including hand painted silk scarves and iron sculptures. Visit the Vassar Haiti Project blog at: http://blogs.vassar.edu/haitiproject

Directions to the Vassar campus, located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, are available at www.vassar.edu/directions ; visit the Vassar homepage at http://info.vassar.edu

More Information on the Benefits of the Vassar Haiti Project

The organization counts on the success of its art sales to fund numerous life-sustaining projects, including:

·      Medical clinic. A three-room medical clinic has been fully operational since April 2014, and is overseen by a full time nurse and a physician, who are both Haitian. The clinic sees 1,000 patients a year, and provides health care to the residents of 30 villages. Patients walk as much as three hours one-way to access health care at the clinic.

·      Women's Cooperative. The 75-member cooperative was formed by village women looking to further support their families and the village. The women learn how to sew fabrics and make jewelry, both of which will be for sale. The Co-op also harvests, roasts, grinds, and bags coffee that VHP very quickly sells.  

·      Education. Chermaitre’s primary school serves 300 children in kindergarten through sixth grade. VHP now supports a scholarship program that makes secondary school education possible for about eight students a year. New kindergarten classrooms have been recently constructed.

·      Reforestation. Fifteen thousand trees were planted over 2015/2016, Phase II of a long term effort to repopulate the mountainsides with a minimum of 100,000 fruit and lumber trees to greatly enhance food security and environmental stability in the area. This phase was funded by an American Forests grant.

·      Water Access and Purification. Thanks to a $55,000 Rotary Global Foundation grant to improve water access and purification in Chermaitre, work began on this effort in 2016.

 

 

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