Key West’s Arts Community Raises Funds For Haiti

Key West’s arts community rallied together, on very short notice, to raise money for Partners in Health, one of the primary organizations involved in earthquake relief in Haiti.

Souls Not Lost: A Fundraiser for Survivors of the Haiti Quake was held on Sunday, Jan. 24, at The Studios of Key West, and raised over $25,000 for relief and recovery.

The event featured a talk by January TSKW Writer in Residence, Madison Smartt Bell, author of a trilogy of novels about the Haitian Revolution – “All Souls Rising,” “Master of the Crossroads” and “The Stone That the Builder Refused.” He is also the author of a biography of Haitian Revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture.

Bell was in Key West researching and working on a new project, but kindly agreed to lend his time and words to Sunday’s event at the Armory. Following his stay, he sent TSKW this brief reflection.

Reacting to the Haiti disaster, Bell also compiled a literary tribute which appeared in a Sunday New York Times section.

To support the fundraiser at TSKW, a large group of local artists donated works for the silent auction, including signed books by writers Annie Dillard, Robert Richardson, Tracy Kidder, Valerie Martin and Margaret Atwood.

All proceeds have been sent to Partners in Health, the organization founded by Dr. Paul Farmer. The group has been working in Haiti for more than 20 years and has been designated by the World Health Organization to serve as coordinators of the public hospital, Hopital de l’Universite d’Etat d’Haiti.

For more information about Partners in Health’s earthquake relief efforts, click here.

Special thanks to Mark Hedden and nan Klingener, whose tireless work to organize this extraordinary event, on such short notice, has resulted in an outpouring of Haitian relief and support from our own island community.

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The Studios of Key West