Below are some frequently asked questions about FMEH and TNVS. Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions about our organization and its mission/activities.
1. What is Friends of Music Education for Haiti? And how does it relate to The New Victorian School?
Friends of Music Education for Haiti (FMEH) is a non profit, 501(c)3 American musical organization founded in 2010 by the Julliard-trained violinist and earthquake survivor, Romel Joseph. Its mission is to provide music education and instrumental training to the children and youth of Haiti through the creation of the Haiti Performing Arts Center. FMEH is the international extension of The New Victorian School, which was completely destroyed by the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti.
2. Why is it important to be involved with FMEH?
Your involvement with FMEH will help the organization provide quality service to the communities of Haiti where it serves. Your participation may include, but not limited to financial contribution, being a volunteer music instructor or intern teacher, collecting academic school materials as well as musical instruments, music stands, and other music-related materials, and alike.
3. What is the Haiti Performing Arts Center (HPAC) project?
HPAC will be the expansion of The New Victorian School’s music division. It will consist of a music conservatory, concert hall, residential facilities, and a utility building. FMEH also strives to provide quality music education, instrumental training, and academic education for the children and the youth of Haiti by insuring that a music education curriculum is established in all public and private primary and secondary institutions in Haiti. The HPAC complex will be designed by Harry Teague Architects of Aspen, Colorado.
4. What kind of services will the Haiti Performing Arts Center provide to the citizens of Haiti?
HPAC will provide music education, instrumental training and performance opportunities to children and youth, as well as professional performances to the residents and visitors of the communities where it serves.
5. How much money is needed for the construction of the Haiti Performing Arts Center?
HPAC construction is estimated that seven million ($7,000,000.00) dollars will be needed to complete the construction of the entire compound; which includes the music conservatory, a residential facility for foreign music teachers, volunteers, and performers to reside, the concert hall, and a utility building to store inverters, inverter batteries, power generators and alike to supplement the government supply of electricity. HPAC will be designed and built by Harry Teague Architects firm.
6. What is the timeline for the construction of the Haiti Performing Arts Center?
FMEH is currently in the preliminary phase which consists of working closely with a fundraising consulting firm to assist in the detailed planning and execution of the capital campaign in terms of marketing, public relations, branding of FMEH, and alike.
7. When will the construction of the Haiti Performing Arts Center be completed?
It is expected for HPAC to be completed by May 2015. Its inauguration will be the same month, as well.
8. Considering the enormity of Haiti's problems, especially in terms of health, housing, clean water, and the like, why should funds be invested in a performing arts center at this time?
A nation without culture or cultural activity is a nation without a soul. Culture is one primary factor that differentiates us humans from the animal kingdom. In any society, a balance must be created between physical necessities in one hand, as well as social and cultural needs in the other. Since January 2010, following the earthquake, billions of dollars have been invested in medicine, clean water, food, housing, and a multitude of lives were saved. Now it is time to offer those alive a social and cultural outlet. The people of Haiti need to LIVE, not just survive.
At this time, Haiti does not even have a movie theater, parks have become tent cities, churches and community centers have been destroyed, and alike. If we don't offer them a positive, cultural, and social milieu, the dark negative forces of Haitian society will take over, for nature is horrified of emptiness.
This social and cultural deprivation makes it ideal for deviant behavior, especially for children and youth ages 8 and up. For example, since the earthquake, numerous daytime pornographic clubs have opened. Thousands of middle school and high school students, unknown to their parents, skip school to engage in drinking alcohol heavily, taking drugs and engaging in group sex, known in Haiti as "zokiki." In addition, according to the police department, most criminals that are arrested are between the ages of 14 and 35.
Without any positive outlets, Haiti's youth will continue to descend into even more negative activities, resulting in an ever WORSE reputation worldwide.
9. What will be the benefit of the Haiti Performing Arts Center to the community?
Some of the benefits of HPAC to Haiti include but not limited to:
Many children and youth, particularly those in the really underserved neighborhoods, such as Cité Soliel, Belle-Air, and Martissant, will receive musical training and become part of our musical groups, such as the youth chorus and the youth symphony orchestra. Their participation in these groups will give them a sense of unity and develop their spirit of collaboration in a highly divided society. In addition, this musical training will increase their confidence, their self-esteem, and better prepare them to face the future. As proven by sound research, such as the Mozart Effect, musical training will help improve their academic performance.
There will be a concert hall where not only the students can perform, but local and international professional artists, as well. It will also be a national landmark that will aid with tourism, for the more cultural activities it presents, the more positive Haiti's international reputation improves.
10. How can I offer a financial or in-kind contribution to this project?
You may make a financial contribution through our website.
You can volunteer your time and expertise at The New Victorian School or perform in FMEH's outreach initiatives, both in the US and in Haiti.
You can contact us with any suggestions and recommendations you have concerning anything that would improve or contribute to our program and projects.
You can make material donations, such as instruments, instrument repair necessities, sheet music, music stands, and alike and send them to our address:
Friends of Music Education for Haiti, Inc.
2817 NW 168th Terrace
Miami Gardens, FL 33056
11. How do I know that my money or in-kind gift was used for what it was intended?
FMEH releases quarterly newsletters with updates on how the donations received are used, as well as updates on our progress. We also submit a yearly report to all our donors via snail mail, email, newsletters, and our donations webpage. You can always contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 786-380-4533/786-258-5289 to personally speak to someone regarding your contribution.
12. How do I keep tract of the impact of my generous contribution?
Make sure you can sign up to receive our enewsletters and yearly snail mail. You can also become a member of our Facebook and Twitter communities, as well as our website for frequent updates.