A TEAM OF CREATIVES
Founding Creative Director
A community-based Public Health Researcher, Cultural Activist, and Curating Performance Artist, Veroneque Ignace uses dance and writing to merge her passion for public heath and global health. With her movement she hopes complicate methods to social change and health equity, connecting spiritual balance and self-understanding to modes of recovery and restoration.
Misere built a strong career playing with Haitian roots groups Tokay, Racine Mapou de Azor, Koudjay, Racine Origin, Zaka Ginen, Bagay Yo An Dekilakyel, Racine La Reine d'Haiti, and Djarara of Brooklyn, among others. Misere is devoted to presenting his rich culture on the world stage and advocating for the possibilities it provides for healing the individual, the community, and the country.
Vocalist & Drummer
Jean Montina is renowned vocalist in the Haitian community, though his talents include music production, music arrangement, drumming, and wind-instruments. Known for his work with Rasin Okan, a Haitian roots group which he leads, Djarara, and Brother High, two Brooklyn-based activist marching bands, Montina seeks to be an ambassador for Haitian musical culture and community.
Choreographer & Performing Artist
Dancer and educator Marla Nicole Robertson, hails from Memphis, Tennessee and is a firm believer in using dance for peace and release. She has worked and performed with several organizations and companies, including but not limited to, The Bantaba Dance Company of Memphis, Abule Fan Music and Dance of Memphis, the Williams College Kusika Dance Ensemble, Pittsfield Town Players, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Emily Johnson/Catalyst Dance and Allison Orr/Forklift Danceworks.
From the age of two through her college career at UMass-Amherst, Shelli committed herself to rigorous dance training. With experience in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and dances of the African Diaspora, Shelli embodies her love for the dance field. In the present, Shelli incepts and co-instructs an Afro-Caribbean dance class, choreographs, and performs live regularly.
Vocalist & Performing Artist
A longtime professional dancer and singer, Trudy Pierre has worked to elevate the presence of Haitian culture on the global stage and in her Brooklyn community. Trudy has performed with the international Haitian roots group Tokay, and also the New York City based dance group Kreyol Dancers. She currently belongs to Brooklyn-based roots group Rasin Okan, while also supporting the artistic efforts of Plezi Rara.
Maxine Montilus is a native of Brooklyn, New York and a first-generation Haitian-American. Her training and dance credits are extensive. Maxine has a B.F.A. in Modern Dance Performance from The University of the Arts, an M.A. in Arts Management from City University London, and an M.A. in Dance Education from Hunter College via the Lincoln Center Scholars program.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Negesti is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Negesti holds a BA in Theater & Dance and African studies and is an alum of Trinity La MaMa. She continues to sharpen her training in modern, contemporary and urban street style techniques. Some of her work as a freelance artist include performing at Lincoln Center's Okay Africa festival with Afro-Beat choreographer Judith McCarthy and as a background dancer for Janet Jackson’s “Made for Now” music video.
The Public Voice (Communications Coordinator)
Marie is the creator of Fanm SA, a platform designed to facilitate gatherings and conversations that explore identity, self care and spirituality of the modern Afro-Diasporic woman. Her perspective fuses insight and practices acquired from her spiritual journey in addition to the tools gained while studying clinical social work.
Marie’s greater intention is to create Afro spiritual spaces for healing, activation and community.
Spoken Word Specialist
Olivier Joseph is a 2016 graduate from Williams College and recipient of Fulbright Scholarship to Spain. His Haitian-American identity, among many others, has been a growing motivation and driving force for his poetry and work with Kriyol Dance! Collective. Olivier hopes to continue developing his spoken word as he undertakes his own work in black radicalism, Afro-Caribbean histories, and Afrolatinidad.
Supporting Artist & Digital Content Creator
Laurel O’Connor is a lifelong dancer and creative mover. Laurel has formal training in Contemporary and West African dance traditions, but basically loves any form that opens space for the body to be honored, the ancestors to be respected, and people to be brought together in love.
Photo & Video Artist
Richard Louissant is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and photographer from New York City. A first-generation Haitian American, his portraiture and film work centers around underrepresented communities such as his own; highlighting the humanity of his subjects and their ability to persevere, find joy, invent and thrive against the odds.
THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Community Partner, CEO of Makini Sacred Arts
Makini grew up in the diverse neighborhoods of Flatbush, Brooklyn, where she had the good fortune to meet people from different backgrounds and walks of life. She has been involved in this community for years as a personal care assistant, a community organizer, a caregiver to children, and well-know merchant of arts from Africa and the diaspora.
JOSEPH DOMINIQUE IGNACE
Fieldworker, KDC Haiti
Dominique, currently serving as a research collaborator on the KDC Haiti project, was born and raised in Port-au-Prince. He is a student in French Communication/Journalism and is a singer of Rap, a medium he uses to develop a social character built on his desire “ ...to decolonize both his own mind and that of his nation.” It's his objective to become the voice of his oppressed people through dissemination of the arts. Dominique also works actively as a disc-jockey in his hometown, Port-au-Prince.
Community Partner, Founder of GEC
Sampson is the founder of Girls Empowerment Circle (GEC), Inc. – a non- profit organization aimed to equip young women of color with the skills needed to become successful at finding their own identity, as they explore who they are as children of African descent. Her experience closely interacting with and educating youth of color in GEC, informs her passion for being an all-around educator. She currently works as a 9th grade English teacher at High School for Service and Learning, housed in the old Erasmus Hall Campus.
Promoter, CEO of S'nel Cosmetics
Sgvianel is a Brooklyn-born, Haitian-American lover of the arts, who specializes in poetry writing. She began working a promotor of KDC in 2016, motivated by her passion to cultivate Haitian community in her hometown. She brings her critical eye and social personality to the work in efforts to expand the KDC network. She is also the creator of S'nel Cosmetics, a body product line and a platform to uplift self-identified black women, particularly those who have faced and survived domestic violence and sexual assault.