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September/October 2015: Feeding the Children's Great Gifts

Many great and inspiring events and interactions have occurred over the past two

months, relating to Sticking Up For Children. Again we've seen what magical amounts of energy and ranges of creativity children have! We're even more moved to serve our partners.

We've had two Music & Arts Days within the the Big Room of our new and gracious host, the Ashé Cultural Arts Center, August 22 and September 26.

Children and parents and artists of any age have created splendid drumsticks-as-art with their paint-pens. Marvelous drummers have brought us their complex and positive rhythms: Fanfan Louis Damas of Haiti, Alexey Marti of Cuba, Alfred Roberts, Johnny Vidacovich, Cole Williams, Conga Mike, Zohar, and more. Star artists Evan Christopher and Gaynielle Neville have spoken to the gatherings about the benefits for them of music and culture in New Orleans.

Alfred Robers, Fanfan Louis Damas, Johnny Vidacovich, Alexey Marti, Cole Williams

I did a quick tour of northern California and Vancouver, BC and got to perform with some of my favorite people--Francisco C. Alarcon, Jeannette Armstrong, Paul

Plimley, Victoria Gibson--and to speak about Sticking Up For Children.

Maryse and I went to Haiti and met more of the students at the E.P.E. school--complement to the F.E.P.E. orphanage--and visited extensively at College Canapé-Vert, a school that has graduated more than 20,000 from a pre-college

level since 1974.

In less than two days ten orphan artists of FEPE produced more than 30 thank-you cards, helped by their advisors Claudine and Sabine, and painted

one of the Giant Sticks provided by the D'Addario Foundation and Pro-Mark drumsticks. Here are just four of the wonderfully aesthetic cards from F.E.P.E.

At College Canapé-Vert we saw the marked progress in construction of its new, post-earthquake, four-story building, and we saw the dignity and joie de vivre of students there. We saw them learn tradtional dances, accompanied by a single

hand-drummer. Why style people can have with simple means!

We made progress, too, toward bringing 3D-printers for students to produce prosthetic limbs in Port-au-Prince.

Students at FEPE and College Canapé-Vert are like students we all know in New Orleans or elsehwere: clearly capable of ingenious, resourceful and beatuiful creatt