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Armed Police raid Sa-K-La-K-Wel, community/arts center in Haiti

From a friend:
To my friends and family,

When I first agreed to help start a community center/arts school in Haiti I had only two fears…
The first was the irrational thought that I could be attacked by some gang of marauding thugs, and the second was that we could start the community center, lose it and leave things worse than when we found them.
Sadly both these things may now come to pass.

Last Monday armed Haitian Police stormed into SA-K-LA-K-WEL while children were present and basically ransacked the place. Throwing everything out into the street, they broke musical instruments, destroyed our only chalk board and stole what they wanted from our teachers living on the premises.
I have since learned that it had nothing to do with us, but rather a land dispute between our landlord and someone else.  I am still in the process of gathering information, but it looks like it was orchestrated by a real estate agent involved in some sort of land deal.  For now the only name we have is “Jonas”.  I assume the intention is to scare us away before we sign the lease for another year.  We are due to re-sign in January, so it stands to reason things will get worse before they get better. 

If we were located in the city of Jacmel I would simply find another location, but we are in Oban.  The purpose of being in Oban is to serve a community that is unable to travel into the city for the opportunities we offer.  All of our foreign volunteers are safe (thankfully) but afraid and and coming home.  After much consideration I have decided to stay the course, and will follow through with my plan to leave for Haiti on November 6th.  I believe it to be a moral imperative to keep SA-K-LA-K-WELopen for the artists and community that have come to depend on it.  Over the next two months I hope to broker a deal that will satisfy all parties involved in this situation and if possible procure the location once and for all.  Come January, Gabe Pallo will also keep to his plans and return to start of the new trimester with me.

I was so touched to hear that our teachers were ushered away from the scene by neighbors and that the community ran out to try and stop the smash and grab taking place.  After the police left, our students gathered everything of value and locked it up in a room upstairs to keep it safe.  
I return to Haiti comforted by the fact that we have the support of the community, we have the aid of our neighbors and (it seems) we have the blessing of our landlord.  

As some of you know, I was planning on blogging about the various activities I will be working on:
Translating Romeo & Juliet into Kreyol
Teaching a story telling class
Teaching Kenpo
And making goat cheese :)

I will still be doing all that, along with keeping you updated on the ongoing situation with the Haitian Police and whoever is pulling their strings.  
It’s true, Haiti is the wild west in some sense, but it is also a place of law and of justice where many officials work tirelessly to make Haiti a place where these kinds of things don’t happen.  What I ask of you is your help to make those in power take notice of us.  Share my blog posts, like us onFacebook and help raise awareness about what is happening to our community center.  Press and outside involvement is the best weapon we have against people that abuse their power in this way.

If you have a friend at the consulate or an uncle at USAID or a drinking buddy who could possibly help in any way, please send this on to them.  SA-K-LA-K-WEL is a community center and anyone who gets involved becomes part of our community.  In that way their thuggery will only make us stronger.

Thank you to all my amazing friends and family for your love and support.

Visit our website www.sa-k-la-k-wel.org You will find the button to Like us on Facebook.

Robert Negron
Artistic Director
Indy Convergence
indyconvergence.org
sa-k-la-k-wel.org
distractedbyshinyobjects:

PBS is the only source of free children’s programming on television - and the primary free educational outlet outside school hours. Cutting funding for PBS primarily affects low-income children, a demographic that can’t vote and that the GOP has historically shown 0 concern for. So it’s a popular punching bag, despite the minuscule percentage of the federal budget that supporting it actually represents.

distractedbyshinyobjects:

PBS is the only source of free children’s programming on television - and the primary free educational outlet outside school hours. Cutting funding for PBS primarily affects low-income children, a demographic that can’t vote and that the GOP has historically shown 0 concern for. So it’s a popular punching bag, despite the minuscule percentage of the federal budget that supporting it actually represents.


"A beauty of the highest integrity"

PRUMSODUN OK: OF LAND AND SKY
Prumsodun Ok’s multimedia performance draws on Cambodian pop music and traditional dance to retell and recast a classical drama. Following the narrative of a mythological Buddhist tale in which an earth-bound deity falls in love with a mortal, Of Land and Sky re-imagines the central lovers as two gay men and surrounds them with a chorus of intergenerational women to explore notions of femininity, beauty and transgressive love. A classically trained artist who refuses to dismantle his tradition even as he challenges its constraints, Ok invokes contemporary political inquiry while retaining the elegant gestural language of Khmer dance.

Teachers he mentions: Sophiline Cheam Shapiro, Ernie Gehr, George Kuchar, Peter Sellars
Temple he describes w/ 1,000 female guardian spirits: Angkor Wat

Subscribe to You Tube  http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCMJstories 
Behind the scenes on Facebook.com/BeyondTheBlurb
Don’t miss a segment @OutreachNerd 

"Reinterpreting the gestural vocabulary and ritual function of Cambodian classical dance as a tool to question, explore, and inspire transformation within our world." —The Huffington Post

LAUSD: Everyday Heroes Classified Employee Recognition Program

lausd:

Thank someone today! The Personnel Commission of LAUSD is proud to have an employee recognition program to honor Classified employees at LAUSD.

This user friendly program allows anyone (employee, vendor, parent, etc.) to submit a recognition message to highlight the achievements of…

On the aisle.: Proposal for Formation of Greater LA Producers' League

Sound & wise plan. 

michaelseel:

Thesis statement for proposal: Elect a representative group of 7-9 professional producers in the 99-seat arena who will meet with producer representatives of the large and mid-sized theatres to form an exploratory committee. This exploratory committee will recommend by-laws and best practices…

Did you know that Jekyll & Hyde is referred to a lot in addiction recovery? I didn’t until I interviewed the creative team of Doma Theatre Company’s production.

Donate a toy to children in need and get yoga, massage and wellness. Tomorrow!

Bring a new toy and get to participate in cool stuff.

How does one celebrate their birthday and the opening of their charming new studio? A summer toy drive to bring joy and community to children in need; Thea Pueschel, C.Ht and Kyle McGough, RYT invite you to celebrate the soft opening of Hazel Blue Studios and Thea’s birthday.

Bring a new toy (or donate monetarily what you can) to enjoy and experience the bounty of healing arts:

For Kids
3pm-4:00pm Yoga with Karen Kazanci, RYT of Leaping Lotus Yoga.

Relax
4pm-6pm Mini-Massage with Rachel Hardy, LMT of Bodywork by Rachel and Reiki by Adriana Franco, C.Ht.The Art of Mind Body Therapy.

Awareness
6:15pm-7:45pm Open Studio drop in, free form yoga – looking for guidance in your poses? Unsure or wanting to better your down dog? Yoga instructors Kyle McGough, RYT of Hazel Blue Studios and Heartbeat House as well as Michael Khachanov, RYT will be on hand to help you optimize your pose.

Release
7:45pm-8:00pm Savasana (Yoga Resting Pose) with Trinity Capili of One Sound Yoga and Cloud 9 Yoga

Hang Out
Iced Tea and snacks. Hang out and enjoy the charming studio and the wild urban garden patio, meet Kyle and Thea. Experience and get to know some very talented and generous healing arts professionals donating their time for the children of Five Acres.

Donate
A jar will also be available for cash donations or gift cards for toys. 100% of all proceeds and toys will go to Five Acres.

About Five Acres:
Five Acres, The Boys’ and Girls’ Aid Society of Los Angeles County, is a child and family services agency that strengthens families and prevents child abuse through treatment and education in community-based and residential Programs. Originally founded in 1888 as an orphanage, today Five Acres offers an array of services including residential care and educational services, mental health services in homes and schools, foster care and adoptions, and domestic violence prevention. Five Acres, The Boys’ and Girls’ Aid Society is the oldest non-sectarian child abuse agency in the San Gabriel Valley and has been caring for society’s most vulnerable children for 123 years.

*to participate in any activity, or to be placed in the drawing for awesome prizes a new toy for a vulnerable child is required.

All activities are first come first serve.

motherjones:

Mitt Romney held a presser trashing the Supreme Court’s health care decision. Here’s what it looked like.
(h/t to the AP’s Philip Elliott)

motherjones:

Mitt Romney held a presser trashing the Supreme Court’s health care decision. Here’s what it looked like.

(h/t to the AP’s Philip Elliott)