A city known for its rich heritage, radiant carnival and singular know-how, Jacmel is proud of its history as a hospitable city and a prosperous trading port. In the wake of the January 12th 2010 earthquake, Jacmel is preserving and enhancing its invaluable tangible and intangible heritage.
Jacmel is investing in its renewal through promoting culture, traditions, art and crafts. The Carnival of Jacmel, known for its creativity and exceptional originality, is the starting point for the creative development of the city: its painting, sculpture and giant papier-mâché masks being anchored deep in local traditions. Every year the carnival brings together the know-how of craft art artists in collaboration with many professional crafts and folk arts associations. This event attracts thousands of Haitians as well as tourists from around the world. The challenge is now to revive this vibrant component of Haiti’s culture.
"Destination Jacmel" focuses on the restoration and protection of the historic center in order to develop cultural tourism. In passing on Jacmel’s traditions to future generations, collective memory is both preserved and celebrated. The cultural richness of Haiti is also marked by many artistic personalities, including painter Préfètte Duffaut, writer Rene Depestre and the poet Pommeyrac Alcibiades, who endowed Jacmel with this exceptional motto "Jacmel, Sursum corda! "(Jacmel, higher and higher!). This motto still resonates today in the heart of all Jacmeliens.
As a Creative City of Crafts and Folk Arts, Jacmel envisages:
- extending the range of artistic creation, especially through vocational training in the arts-related professions;
- promoting the creative schools in the fields of Cinema (Ciné Institute), Sound (Mizik Audio Institute), and Music (Dessaix-Baptiste Institute); and
- supporting dance groups and schools, visual artists and artisans of Jacmel and their links with professionals from other member cities in order to develop the creative potential of the Caribbean.