or 35 terrifyingly long seconds this is what the children of Haiti experienced on January 12, 2010, as an earthquake forever changed the world they knew. Shortly after the devastation, the First Lady of Haiti, Madame Elisabeth D. Préval, called upon Haitian Philippe Dodard and his fellow artists to create a safe place for children to express how they had been touched by the earthquake. Plas Timoun (The Children's Place), operating from converted buses at two sites in Port-au-Prince, uses the power of art--specifically the visual and performing arts--to bring healing to the children of Haiti.

The simple works on paper created immediately following the earthquake were dark in color and imagery. Soon, however, the drawings were revealing glimmers of hope and healing. The children of Plas Timoun were using brighter colors and depicting the innocence of childhood and their visions for a brighter future, attesting to the resilience of a nation and the power of art.

With the help of Plas Timoun, these children will move more confidently toward their future and the lasting reconstruction of Haiti.

Support for The Healing Power of Art was generously provided by the Sanaa Circle, Inter-American Development Bank, The Coca-Cola Company, Frank and Liz Blake in honor of Habitat for Humanity works in Haiti, DynCorp International and the Institute of Caribbean Studies.

Home | A Statement from the First Lady | Plas Timoun | A selection of drawings by the children of Plas Timoun | Thirty Five Long Seconds + Video

Back to: NMAfA past exhibits