Art and Soul



Art and Soul





APRIL 22-24 2017 


in collaboration with
fordham university, ST. JOHN's university, SPES NOVA & the vassar club of new york




MAY 4, 2017






to fund the Chermaitre Fiervil Clinic

Fête dans le Mere by André Blaise

Thursday, May 4, 2017

5:30pm – 8:00pm

Vassar College Alumnae House

130 Collegeview Ave, Poughkeepsie NY 12604


The fifth annual “Art and Soul Gala” on Wednesday, May 4th at the Vassar College Alumnae House will feature beautiful, vibrant Haitian art, live entertainment from Vassar student musicians, and fabulous cuisine from Twisted Soul.  The program runs from 5:30pm to 8:00pm, and is open to the public.  Tickets are $65 each.  Art and Soul is presented by the Vassar Haiti Project’s Medical Advisory Board, which is chaired by former Vassar Brothers Medical Center CEO Daniel Z. Aronzon, MD.




The Art and Soul Reception supports the Chermaitre Fiervil Clinic, which provides essential preventive care and life-saving treatment to residents of 30 villages. For many residents, this is the first accessible medical care in their lifetime. The Art and Soul Reception funds the local medical staff and medications to serve 1,000 or more people from these communities for one year. All art purchases are 50% tax deductible. For more information on ticket prices and availability please contact or call 845.797.2123.

Thank you/ Mèsi anpil for your continual support and for considering making a 100% tax deductible year-end gift to the Vassar Haiti Project.


DONATE NOW (online)
Or please make a check payable to:

Vassar Haiti Project
124 Raymond Avenue, Box 594
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604


Want a glimpse of what it's like to go to Haiti...Come with us! See our video below! 

International Art and Handcraft Sale

International Art and Handcraft Sale

International Art & Handcraft Sale

to support developing country communities


Fordham University Lincoln Center campus will come alive with the joyous colors of spectacular art and handcrafts from around the world on April 22, 23 and 24.  The Fordham Graduate School, St. John's University, and the Vassar Club of New York unite with Spes Nova and the Vassar Haiti Project to host an international art sale of paintings and handcrafts.  There will also be a panel discussion coordinated by the Vassar Club of New York entitled, “Communities at Risk:  Social Justice in the Developing World” at 4:00pm on Saturday, April 22. Panelists include, Vassar alumna Tamsin Chen '15, Patrick Struebi, founder of Fairtrasa and Dr. Sean Murray of St. John’s. A reception will follow in the Atrium.

The international art sale is a collaborative effort between the Vassar Haiti Project, Fordham’s Spes Nova, the Graduate School of Arts and Science, Gabelli Business School, CIPS, and St. John’s University.  Teaching global citizenship – the art and science of learning how to operate effectively, appropriately, and equitably in the world – is the glue that connects these entities.

A sampling of the handcrafts available at Vassar Haiti Project's art sales

A sampling of the handcrafts available at Vassar Haiti Project's art sales

This collaborative fair trade event will celebrate Haitian, Guatemalan and Kenyan art and culture in particular, and raise funds for the Vassar Haiti Project’s ongoing work in Haiti as well as for the many other student-driven projects at Fordham University and St. John’s University. The three schools have worked tirelessly in forging this new partnership. VHP’s Post Baccalaureate Fellow Melanie Lai Wai ’16 speaks to her experience.  “The Vassar Haiti Project has taught me about relationship, respect, and responsibility. Although there are challenges every day in our work, it amazes me how people are able to come together and work toward a common goal.”

The Vassar Haiti Project, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, has for 15 years funded primary and secondary school programs, a full-time clinic, and sustainable development initiatives in Chermaitre, a remote mountain village in Northwest Haiti.  The Haiti Project, based in Poughkeepsie, NY, engages college students in a global citizenship curriculum and fundraises through the sale of Haitian art and donations. Vassar Haiti Project Co-Founder Dr. Andrew Meade explains, “we have provided a way for the artists to help the people of a village: it is Haitians helping Haitians. We serve as facilitators of this grand dance.”

Views of the primary school in the mountain village of Chermaitre, Haiti

Views of the primary school in the mountain village of Chermaitre, Haiti

Spes Nova is an approved 501(c)(3) non-profit organization co-founded by Fordham University’s Associate Professor of Economics Erick Rengifo whose mission is to help alleviate poverty around the world. Through its global network of universities and academic institutions, Spes Nova is able to help artisans grow their businesses. Spes Nova’s platform provides access to markets, microfinance and micro-insurance, creating a foundation for sustainable and inclusive development (SID). This three-pillar approach, when complemented by community development actions, helps artisans, their families, and their communities escape from the poverty trap[2] . Spes Nova has been incorporated into the curriculum at Fordham University, where students learn to navigate sustainable development issues.  The sale will feature goods produced by Spes Nova businesses in Guatemala, Haiti and Kenya.

The products that Spes Nova will feature from Kenya are soapstone carvings made by the Nyabigena Soapstone Carvers Organization, a non-profit grassroots group. The group was founded in 1990 and is composed of 150 members (120 men and 30 women). This organization is also a member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). The Nyabigena Soapstone Carvers Organization offers management training workshops, educational opportunities for widows and orphans, and health and nutrition education. They plan to start a tree nursery and to expand their educational and HIV/AIDS programs.[3]  From Haiti, Spes Nova will present jewelry, bowls, and handbags that women artisans crafted to support their children. Finally, the Guatemalan products come from Wakami, an organization that sell accessories handcrafted with care by women in rural villages of Guatemala.

Kenyan artisans in production, Spes Nova

Kenyan artisans in production, Spes Nova

Haitian artisans working with Spes Nova

Haitian artisans working with Spes Nova

St. John’s University became recognized this past fall as an official Catholic Relief Service campus. These ambassadors have been building up their program for the past several years, and they host events that advocate social justice issues. One of their main missions is promoting Fair Trade. They, along with the organization St. John’s for Fair Trade, are working to make St. John’s a Fair Trade designated campus, which will raise awareness of conscious consumer issues and global poverty. Fair Trade goods are popping [4] up at multiple vendors around campus, and Catholic Relief Services hosts Fair Trade Fridays, a weekly event that sells goods from Panama and other nations, and spreads the word about conscious consumption.

The Vassar Haiti Project, Fordham Graduate School, St. John's University, and local volunteers look forward to raising critically important funds. Working with Spes Nova, Pinar Zubaroglu ‘18, a doctoral student from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, states: “This event brings all strong connections together to support the talents and communities of the developing world. I would recommend everyone to save the date for such a good cause!”

The art sale and panel discussion are free and open to the public.  All art and handcraft sales are 50% tax deductible. Opening hours of the sale are listed below. For more information, please call Lila Meade at 845.797.2123 or contact

Hours are as follows:

Saturday, April 22             12pm – 8pm
              Panel:                   4pm  Communities at Risk: Social Justice in the Developing World
              Reception:            Following Panel
Sunday, April 23                10am – 4pm
Monday, April 24               9am – 3pm

Lincoln Center campus, Second floor, Atrium.
113 Columbus Avenue @ 60th St.

Vassar haiti project

Vassar haiti project

Explore the many initiatives of the Vassar Haiti Project and  a decade of VHP's work in Chermaitre, Haiti.


Founded in 2001, VHP is a collaborative, all- volunteer 501(c)3 supporting the welfare of artists and artisans in Haiti, and sustainable development in Chermaitre. 

The Vassar Haiti Project functions through the auction and sale of Haitian art and handcrafts.

Our contributions are guided by five initiatives: education, medical access, reforestation, water purification and women's leadership. We invite you to learn more about the Vassar Haiti Project. Welcome to the family!

VHP's Three-fold Mission


Promoting the art of Haiti, and supporting the livelihood of Haitian artists



Fostering education, health and sustainable development in Chermaitre, Haiti


Mentoring our students and community volunteers in global citizenship