The Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department has released a photo highlight reel from Once on This Island, the department’s Winter 2016 mainstage musical. The show ran November 30-December 10, 2016. The production was a fundraiser for hurricane relief in Haiti, with audience donations collected after each performance. The $1,100 raised from the student production was donated to Artists Village, Inc., to help purchase a well-drilling machine for rural villagers in the hurricane-impacted island nation.
Artists Village, Inc., is a New York-based 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt not-for-profit organization dedicated to building self-sufficient communities in the rural areas of Haiti. Artists Village seeks to engage in building hurricane- and earthquake-proof homes, providing portable water, stocking medical clinics and hospitals with medicines and medical supplies, and building vocational schools, cultural centers, and playgrounds, thus enhancing the quality of life of the many facets of these communities. In addition to equipping villages with all the necessary amenities of a modern day community, Artists Village has very strong interest in promoting economic development by implementing agricultural projects. The organization was founded in 2004 after major floods devastated the town of Gonaives, followed by mudslides that destroyed the towns of Mapou and Fond Verrettes, Haiti.