New York, N.Y. Summer in New York City is a special time with heat, rain – and outdoor festivals! On July 26, the Wan-Luv 2012 Summer Music Series will present a “Pre Carnival des Fleurs” celebration at The Ritz Plaza Park on Times Square. Sponsored by Stonehenge Properties and produced by Hip Hop Saves Lives, the festival will highlight Haitian music, dance and culture. It will bring together a festive crowd and include live music, D.J.s, and special guests.
Producing partners Hip Hop Saves Lives, Cocody Productions, and Negus World put together the after work happy hour series of the summer for those craving the African and the Caribbean beat in Manhattan. Among the star-studded line up for this week’s show is The Zing Experience. Their music features roots, rock, and reggae – offering a true and unique world music show. The lead singer’s father is the front-man of Boukman Esperyans, one of the most famous Haitian bands to date, most notably known in the States for playing alongside superstar Wyclef Jean.
In addition a performance by Spiral dancer Peniel Guerrier, a special preview of the powerful, moving and inspiring documentary Haiti film I reviewed in the Huffington Post, In the Eye of the Spiral (here). Ugandan filmmaker Paul Roy Barigayomwe wrote about Peniel in this column (here).
I spoke to Hip Hop Saves Lives Director Chad Harper who told me:
We were inspired to produce this series based on requests from our New York City fans to find a location in the heart of Manhattan. Lovers of African and Caribbean music and culture now have an after work venue to that will definitely rock!
Hip Hop Saves Lives (HHSL) is a non-profit organization that teaches humanity through hip hop as well as raise funds to provide clean water and education to schools in Africa and Haiti. They do this through several outlets including an after-school program called “Kids Helping Kids” in partnership with Negus World. The program educates children on world issues and they write and records songs and videos. Funds from their music go to the schools in Africa and Haiti. The organization HHSL doesn’t just teach humanity through hip hop, they create humanitarians.
I then chatted with Stonehenge’s creative director Michael Stern, who I met last month at anEye of the Spiral event. A real Mensch, Michael told me:
Stonehenge brings a new rhythm – a lifestyle – to the beat of Manhattan. Our residents come from all over the world to live in Manhattan, and we are dedicated to celebrating this city as a crossroad of multicultural expression. We are committed to ‘Caring and Sharing’ at the same time we say, ‘Have Fun at Stonehenge!’NYC philanthropy isn’t just about donating to local organizations. It’s about investing time, energy, and love into the programs that help make our community great. Giving at Stonehenge works with organizations like God’s Love We Deliver to help make Manhattan a great place to live –for all of our neighbors.
Our lifestyle here in New York expands beyond yellow taxis and high and bustling subway stations. ‘Fun at Stonehenge’ brings the best of Manhattan’s culture to your home, whether its lobby jazz performances at The Ritz Plaza or comedy shows on the rooftop of The Olivia, we bring NYC lifestyle to your doorstep.
Stonehenge Partners is big. As a fully integrated real estate company which was founded over 18 years ago by Ofer Yardeni and Joel Seiden, the company owns and manages 27 building portfolio encompassing over 3,000 rental apartments and close to 800,000 square feet of retail, office and garage space – making Stonehenge one of the dominant landlords. The company employs over 55 professionals at its head office located at 888 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. See their blog and Facebook page.
Wan Luv Media Partners for this event include Afropop Worldwide, Face2faceafrica, and my ownfoundation’s The Stewardship Report. This special event brings light to the powerful NYC Haitian Community and is proudly partnered with three of NYC’s Haitian Diaspora Groups: TheHaitian Cultural Foundation, Aksyon Foundation, and Fleurimond Catering. I remember reading about former Berklee College of Music student Wyclef Jean returning to Boston to perform at Aksyon Foundation’s gala to support the victims in Haiti after the earthquake (story).
The Haitian Cultural Foundation (HCF), led by my friend Raynald Leconte, will host a special preview of the film In the Eye of the Spiral allowing viewers a rare opportunity to dialogue with the creative team after watching the trailer. The captivating film, which features seven of Haiti’s most prominent living artists, proposes a new narrative for embattled Haiti – a country steeped in vitality and mysticism and the video ultimately seeks to provide hopefulness for a country built upon great artistry and talent. HCF is a 501(c)3 designated charity in New York that works with artists, galleries, and museums as a liaison to the international community to facilitate their aspirations. HCF is headquartered in New York and it is a volunteer organization.
The Aksyon Foundation will feature for sale their exclusive handmade thread and bone friendship bracelets in ivory and black created by Artisans in Haiti. Also, on hand from Aksyon will be an opportunity to buy their signature Navy Baseball Caps with their (and my!) favorite artistic Haitian city, “Jacmel” embroidered in white lettering on the front, perfect for the city or Hamptons getaway! Aksyon is a U.S.-based foundation formed by Haitian citizens living in Haiti and abroad. They seek to promote and develop long-term sustainable initiatives to promote Haiti as a positive brand in the areas of tourism, entrepreneurism, permanent housing, and educational programs.
There will be delicious fresh fruit smoothies including made from Haitian mango smoothies byCoconut Rob.
Nadege Fleurimond, the owner of New York’s Fleurimond Catering, is a native of Haiti who is helping put on this festival. He grew up surrounded by the sights, flavors and sounds of the Caribbean. Fleurimond Catering is an off-premise catering firm specializing in mid to high-end corporate and private functions.
Wan-Luv 2012 Summer Music Series Presents “Pre Carnival des Fleurs”
July 26, the Wan-Luv 2012 Summer Music Series will present a “Pre Carnival des Fleurs” celebration at Ritz Plaza Park on Times Square.The Ritz Plaza Park, 235 West 48th Street, New York City
Reserve tickets here.
The early evening concert is on Thursdays from 5:30pm-8:30pm
See Stories by Jim Luce on:
The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org) is the umbrella organization under which The International University Center Haiti (Uni Haiti) and Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW) are organized.
Originally published in The Daily Kos July 22, 2012.