Miami — When it was Haitian Heritage Museum Executive Director Eveline Pierre’s time to speak at the museum’s 10th anniversary gala, she gave a heartfelt speech about the future of the museum.
Pierre announced that the museum has established an endowment fund to continue to maintain the legacy of the Haitian culture through art for the global community.
“The endowment is to ensure for the longevity of the museum,” she said in a later interview.
The plan is to raise $1 million to support key staff positions that are needed to keep the museum going, for example an educational director, curator, archivist and some funds to continue to build the museum collection.
This is the first phase, she said of the fundraising. The second phase of the endowment is to raise funding for new space for the museum.
People from all over South Florida and the country came out to show support for the Haitian Heritage Museum’s 10-year ‘Epic Journey’ in Miami.
Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief, other community leaders, philanthropist, business leaders, community partners and supporters all attended the museum’s 10th Annual Gala on Feb. 22. The signature event was hosted by WSVN 7 News Anchor Adrianna Hopkins and the event kicked-off with an amazing performance by the African Dance Troupe Delou.
During the event, Beatrice Louissant took the 2014 Father Jean Juste award and the 2014 Cultural Achiever award went to Jimmy Jean Louis, a Hollywood actor. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime also was honored.
Located in the heart of Miami’s Art District, the museum showcases and preserves Haiti’s rich culture. The gala highlighted the importance and the role the Haitian Heritage Museum has in the community both culturally and for the arts, said Pierre, the museum’s founder.
“We feel great about the accomplishments as when you have a great people around you can achieve so much,” she said. “We are very humble as so many other museums have been around for 20, 40 and 50 years. We are just babies compared to them. We just want to really create a cultural legacy for the future generations.”
The highlight of the night was hearing from keynote speaker Harry LaRosilliere, mayor of Plano, Texas, who spoke about his experiences growing up in a Haitian household in the Bronx in the early 1970s. LaRosiliere, the first Haitian mayor in Texas said, “I am honored to be a part of such an amazing organization and proud to be Haitian.”