2010 Implementation Award Winner

HAITI BRIDGE: I helped build it.

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HOW DO YOU CONSTRUCT A BRIDGE between a small Los Angeles community and their Global Haitian neighbors after the 2010 earthquake? Neighborgapbridge is an interdisciplinary class at Otis College of Art + Design which asks such questions. Students assume the role of ethnographer, focusing on 3 investigative phases: Neighbor, Gap and Bridge. Otis students work collaboratively with local neighbors: students from Loyola Village Elementary School, members of the Westchester Senior Center, staff at The Custom Hotel, as well as Art Therapists at Compassionate Response, an organization which provides direct support to disaster survivors.

Patricia Kovic
310 459 4475

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May 30, 2013
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Knapsacks for Haitian Children are Woven out of 100 Discarded T-shirts. They contain: a sketch pad + art supplies donated by our local neighbors. Delivered to the ACFFC Art School, Jacmel, HA
Otis Students teach LA Third Graders How to Weave. Weaving from many sources becomes a symbol of rebuilding and diversity.
Left: A Loyola Elementary School 5th Grader product tests a Knapsack before shipping. Right: Knapsacks arrived at ACFFC Art School, Jacmel, Haiti in January 2011, the anniversary of the earthquake
Dr Charles Flood of Compassionate Response Skypes with us from his office in Philadelphia. How do children respond in disasters like Haiti, 9/11 and Katrina?
Understanding our neighbor increases our ability to share and connect. We are linked by a shared vulnerabilty: earthquakes

The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic 7.0. It is estimated that about 2 million Haitians have been displaced. Acknowledging that in Los Angeles, we too might experience such a devastating earthquake, students were asked to develop meaningful solutions to bridge gaps between Haitians and themselves.


HAITI BRIDGE is a “Conduit of Collaboration” — an inclusive neighborhood model of designing and sharing locally in order to help those in need globally. Our neighborhood works together to create products that project hope and compassion.