Newburyport Daily News
---- — MERRIMAC — For the month of October, the Merrimac Public Library is host to an exhibit featuring a photographic introduction between students at Pentucket and the Mission of Hope International School in Haiti. The Haitian/American Relations Project (H.A.R.P.), initiated by Pentucket High School graduate Anna Bouchard of West Newbury, features snapshots of the daily lives of students from both schools taken throughout the last school year.
After connecting with the Mission of Hope in fall of 2012 as a “sister school” to Pentucket, Bouchard went on to raise $350 in private donations to cover the exchange project costs. With the help of Pentucket’s photography teacher, Marcia Nadeau-Tanner, Bouchard arranged to send disposable cameras with the request that they “introduce themselves through photography.” Instructions were translated into French, Haiti’s primary spoken language, by Pentucket’s French class. Pentucket students were asked to do the same.
“About a dozen students worked on this project throughout the year,” said Nadeau-Tanner, who, as of this school year, is now head of the high school’s art department.
The exhibit features the resulting collaboration of photos and written reflections. The collection captures an illustrative depiction of perspectives from different worlds along with expressions of hopes for a better future. One Haitian student writes that he wants to become an engineer “to build some houses for those who don’t have much money,” while one from Pentucket “hopes to one day travel all over the world helping people.” Bouchard herself plans to study international relations at Mount Holyoke College. She formed this project in hopes to inspire tolerance and to raise cultural awareness.
Merrimac Public Library will be the final stop on the Pentucket regional tour for the H.A.R.P. exhibit. The library is located at 86 West Main St. For more information and hours, visit www.merimaclibrary.org.