As all eyes turn toward London for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Haiti is joining in on the international celebrations with the Maison D’Haiti – the first official National House that Haiti has ever had at the Olympic games. With support from the Clinton Foundation, and hosted by John McAslan + Partners, the Maison D’Haiti features the Discover Haiti Exhibition from Donna Karan’s Urban Zen and Nomad Two Worlds. This dynamic exhibit, which is on display throughout the Olympics, features Haitian art, accessories, clothing, and home furnishings, all designed and produced in Haiti. The exhibit promotes economic development in Haiti by supporting local artists, while also honoring Haiti’s rich, dynamic culture and history.
The exhibit was launched with a formal reception on July 25, 2012, featuring remarks by Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. The inaugural event was also attended by Urban Zen designer Donna Karan, Head of Olympic Committee Jean-Edouard Baker, and Lord Griffiths of Burry Port. The Maison D’Haiti also hosted a special conversation on Haiti with Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health and President Luis Alberto Moreno of the Inter American Development Bank. During his visit to the United Kingdom, the Haitian Prime Minister also met with Prince Charles and Foreign Secretary William Hague and the UK pledged to re-open their consulate in Port-au-Prince.
All of the events at the Maison D’Haiti were well-attended and well-received, and the early success of the Maison D’Haiti represents both the United Kingdom and the world’s continued interest in Haitian culture and in new opportunities to engage with the country. The Maison D’Haiti will be open throughout the duration of the Olympics, Monday – Friday 8:30am – 6pm, at The William Road Gallery, 7-9 William Road, London NW13ER.