“I Am Haiti” Art Scarves Project launch”

Reminder This Friday Come Support The Children of Haiti
If you Haven’t RSVP the info is listed below

Franca Art and Fashion Charity & TMS Group
“I Am Haiti” Art Scarves Project launch”

One month after losing their home, school and every possession to Haiti’s earthquake, 100 children from the Maranatha School and Orphanage sat down and poured their dreams into their very first paintings. The children had been sleeping outside, on the streets or under tents since the earthquake.
Now, nearly a year and a half later, many of those paintings are featured on a line of cashmere scarves created by non profit organization Franca Art and Fashion that will be sold in stores all around the world starting this holiday season. All proceeds from the scarves will be used to create a sustainable community where the children’s dreams can become a reality.

The scarves will be launched at a reception at Franca Gallery, 526 West 26th Street, #417, Friday

December 9th – 6pm-10pm.
Complimentary Drinks provided by Bouké Wines

Event runs:
Saturday December 10, noon – 8pm
Sunday December 11, noon – 8pm

For more information:
Press/Media Contact
Marie Theodore 646.529.9349/ MarieDrivenpr@gmail.com
For General Entry:

The I Am Haiti Art Project was the initiative of documentary filmmaker Kevin O’Hanlon (FilmsOnArtists) who collaborated with Haitian born artist Richard Laurent to bring canvasses and painting supplies to Maranatha.

The school which has been the home and school to over 170 children since 2002, was created and is administered by Michael Fedele of Life For The World. The children painted what they wanted to occur in their lives – a home for their family, trees, clothes to wear, a car to drive to town in. The paintings were exhibited at O’Hanlon’s Rogue Space | Chelsea Gallery and the proceeds were largely able to restore the orphanage to its original working condition. On seeing the children’s painting exhibition, Frank and Caroline Fleischer, who together run the non-profit charitable organization Franca Art and Fashion, decided to help. Caroline struck on the idea of creating a line of luxury scarves made of the finest pashmina-cashmere featuring the children’s artwork. Caroline’s vision was to create a series of scarves which could be sold in stores around the world to support the children’s ongoing education and development. Caroline is CEO of Talents For Fashion, a consulting and international recruitment agency for the fashion industry. Mr. Fleischer is the CEO of TMS Fashion, one of the largest clothing manufacturing companies in Asia. The scarves were manufactured in New Delhi, India.
TMS Fashion has been praised by the UN for it’s exemplary adherence to fair trade practices and labour law compliance. Together Franca Art and Fashion, TMS Group and FilmsOnArtists will support the Maranatha School and Orphanage to develop trade schools, provide for second and third level education, develop means for a stable food supply, and design a model for sustainable living in Haiti that will give hope and inspiration to neighboring communities and all of Haiti and around the world. What makes these scarves so unique and special is that they are digitally printed on the finest cashmere wool, and individually hand washed in order to maintain the integrity of every stroke and nuance of the children’s original paintings. The most powerful part is that all of this came from the children’s initial creative act of painting their future. They expressed what they wanted their futures to be like and those things are now becoming reality. In this project the children reverse the roll of needy children for one of empowering, inspirational artists helping themselves and others. FilmsOnArtists is currently producing a documentary and book about the project and will continue to help projects in developing countries around the globe seek out creative solutions to children’s needs, using the medium of film to document and engage people with each project.

The seeds for the Maranatha School and Orphanage were first planted when Michael Fedele read a book about Haiti and went to see and experience the country for himself. For three months he used his own income to distribute food to and provide shelter for children and families. At the end of a food distribution some kids remained on the truck as they had no where else to go. Michael housed these orphans in an inexpensive hotel and shortly after rented property in Source Matelas, a community close to the Port-au-Prince. The Maranatha Orphanage and School began with twenty children in a single classroom and has since grown to provide 170 children with education, food and shelter to sustain life and give hope. For the past decade, Fedele has worked with the surrounding community to improve the quality of life and provide the children of Maranatha with a foundational education. The students will need to use that education toward something once they graduate from the school, however. Creating profit-making businesses is the logical progression of the work we have already begun so kids will have industry specific training to work in businesses we will create for them. We are currently in the early stages of establishing a commercial area directly adjacent to Maranatha focusing on creating a self-sustaining community for Source Matelas. This community is located on very rich farming ground with a fresh water stream, so we will create an agricultural zone with goats and poultry which will provide an abundant year round supply of food for the community.
This sustainable community will be a blueprint for the rest of Haiti and other countries facing similar challenges. Our model of a self sufficient community will develop well-educated, productive children and adults. FilmsOnArtists will create and document the evolution of this sustainable community so that it will not only be an example to others but will also be a scalable and transplantable design which we will actualize in other countries where there is need. One of the primary features of the art project with Maranatha after the earthquake was its manageable size in which progress could be made and results easily measured. We looked at their situation and zeroed in on a resource that they already possessed. Their imagination, creativity and the hard work we will all do together is all that was needed to completely change the course of their lives. Building off of more than ten years of established relationships and trust within the community, the Maranatha project goes far beyond financial contributions. We will continue to work hand-in-hand with the people of Source Matelas to develop solutions to build a healthy integrated community. Advisors and supporters are invaluable for this model to reach its full potential. This project calls for the caliber of leadership and experience of Franca Art and Fashion and Frank and Caroline Fleischer. We have been very fortunate to have attracted the interest of such a successful company and to share its knowledge on how to generate the income to see this project through to sustainability. We greatly value partnering with Franca Art and Fashion for this project, and we will thoroughly outline our goals for Source Matelas and hold ourselves fully accountable for meeting those goals. With so much negative media associated with Haiti, we are very happy that we can report back on something that is working very well and helping a group of very special children’s progress.

Press image gallery

Promotional Video:

Published by MarieDriven

Marie “Driven” Theodore is a Haitian American entrepreneur and celebrity publicist that got her start in New York City working for prominent music, fashion, and lifestyle labels. From mainstream to niche categories she manages a base of support and operations for clients through strategic relationship building. Her roster of creative individuals and brands is impressive and her knack for navigating cultural circles is unmatched, particularly within the Caribbean community.

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