NPR : Tell Me More

In Haiti, Where Does Art Fit In?

Play associated audio

There's no doubt that art can help us cope with troubled times. It's a way to process the inexplicable, express the unutterable.

But with tens of thousands of Haitians still displaced and living in tent cities, some might consider art a luxury few can afford. Diane Ford Dessables, though, founder of Ayitian Arts Project, says that in addition to the obvious emotional benefits, there are real economic reasons for supporting Haiti's arts.

"What we're doing here is focusing on art and using art as a means of spurring community development," she tells NPR's Michel Martin.

She's the person behind 3 Pent Ayisyen (Three Haitian Painters), a small exhibition at a Washington, D.C., restaurant that focuses on the works of artists who live and work around the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

"We're actually trying to increase the income artists receive — and that residual income permeates throughout the Haitian economy," Dessables says.

While small in scope, the aim behind the exhibit is to generate enough funds through the sale of paintings to repair an arts school in Jacmel that was left damaged by the earthquake that devastated the country two years ago.

The exhibition features works by artists Augustin Mona, Michelet "Najee" Calice and Henry Robert Derazin. It will be on display at Washington's Busboys and Poets restaurant through Feb. 17.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


From A Weirdo Nerd To A Guy Who Plays One On TV

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with the actor Rainn Wilson about his new memoir, The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy.

How Long Can Florida's Citrus Industry Survive?

The USDA recently stunned growers when it projected the smallest orange harvest for Florida in more than 50 years. The culprit: A tiny insect that's killing off the state's trees — and industry.

Snapshots 2016: Trump's Message Resonates With A Master Cabinet Maker

From time to time during this election season we'll be introducing you to ordinary people that our reporters meet out on the campaign trail. Today: a snapshot from a Donald Trump rally in New Hampshire.

Someday A Helicopter Drone May Fly Over Mars And Help A Rover

NASA is building a 2-pound helicopter drone that would help guide the vehicle on the Red Planet's surface. That way, the rover wouldn't need to wander as much to find its way around.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.