May is officially Haitian Heritage Cultural Month, and throughout South Florida many events are being held to commemorate it.
With the help of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime, non-profit organizations, art museums, and civic offices are throwing parties, book readings, concerts, competitions, and more in celebration of Haitian culture.
This year marks the 13th year that Miami-Dade County has actively celebrated Haitian Heritage Cultural Month with the Haitian Heritage Museum and the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce of Florida leading the pack in events.
“This year’s events will celebrate the rich heritage of the Haitian people and Haiti’s cultural contributions to the world,” said Commissioner Monestime, the first Haitian-American elected to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners said in a press release dated April 22, 2013.
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A nationally dedicated time where Haiti’s Diaspora globally celebrates the culture and traditions of Haiti, the month-long observance is an expansion of Haitian Flag Day.
“I invite all the residents of Miami-Dade County to participate in these wonderful events and explore the beauty, history, legacy, and heritage of Haiti,” he said.For an extensive list of events to attend, read the itinerary below.
For the entire month of May the Haitian Heritage Museum located at 4141 NE 2nd Avenue in Miami is hosting a series of events and programming throughout the community where Haitians and non-Haitians alike can get a taste of Haitian culture without leaving or needing a passport. On May 18th one person will be crowned as Mr. or Mrs. May 18th and win over $1000 and prizes. The online contest highlights anyone who feels he or she represent Haitian culture in a song, poem, dance, or style, and the winning participant will be chosen based on the amount of likes received via social media. For more information: Call 305-371-5988.
Film buffs can wet their palettes at the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce of Florida where they can view a documentary. On May 15th fashionistas can meet Donna Karan and shop her pop-up store at the Donna Karan Grand Opening Gallery Exhibit held at the Little Haiti Cultural Center located at 212 NE 59th Terrace in Miami and 6 pm. For more information: Call 305-756-3037. If you can’t attend get another fix of Donna Karan at A Conversation With Donna Karan at Big Night In Little Haiti on May 17th at the same location from 6-9 pm. For more information: Call 305-250-5390.
Bring the family for a night on the town to the Manuel Airtime Theater located at 900 SW 1st Street in Miami from 6:30-10 pm. A performing arts fundraiser by Bel Tifi promises to feature excitement, glamour, inspiration, and live performances by South Florida’s dance companies. Afterwards, the crowd will view the crowning of Ms. Bel Tifi (loosely translated to ‘pretty girl’). For more information call: 305-371-5988 or 786-226-7850.
Mingle with the Haitian Diaspora at a private reception at the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce of Florida on May 16th at 6 pm. Locals can experience a traditional Haitian festival a la carnavale on May 18th at the Compas Festival held at Bayfront Park in Biscayne Blvd. For more information: Call 786-251-7392. On the same day, the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce of Florida observes the day as Haitian Women’s Empowerment Day at the Community Access Center, and kids of all ages can participate in the Haitian Youth Development Cultural Day Festival.
At 6 pm foodies throughout South Florida will gather for the food challenge, Battle of the Chefs, while students can show their spelling skills at the Haitian History Bee & Young Artist Challenge at 10 am-2 pm. For more information: Call 305-960-2969. In honor of the elderly, the Community Access Center will host the Haitian Elderly Cultural Luncheon at the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce of Florida on May 28th at 12 pm.
On May 19th soccer fans can watch the soccer showdown between Haiti and Spain presented by HYDE, NET Office, and Mme Gaugousse at Florida International University’s Stadium located at 3000 NE 151st Street at 6 pm. For more information: Call 305-438-9488.
On May 25th a gospel concert will be held from 5-9 pm. For more information: Call 305-694-2779.
Mothers will be given a second chance to be pampered as May 26th marks Haitian’s Mother Day, and afterwards can celebrate with festive music at the Best of the Best Concert held in Downtown Miami. For more information: Call 305-438-9488.
Two closing receptions will be held on May 30th: one at the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce of Florida at 12 am, and the other at the History Miami Museum hosted by the Commissioner Jean Monestime at 6-9 pm.The closing dance party, Mix-A-Lot will be held on May 31st at 11 pm.