After 25 years living in the United States, Paula Hyppolite returned to Haiti in 1997. An artist for positive change, driven by love and inspired by the need for awareness and knowledge.
Hyppolite believes that art can be a powerful tool for social change. "Art has the power to change lives," she says. "It can educate people about their environment and encourage them to become leaders with a good sense of who we are as a people, our environment, what our goals are as a nation and how to achieve them."
In 2003, she and APJ CEO David Belle launched the Jacmel Film Festival. What she and David discovered was that what audiances really hungered to see were local films showcasing Haitian culture. "We want to give Haiti a voice – it's own voice – in cinema."
After 12 years of directing The Artists Institute of Jacmel, she joined her son Sidney Etienne in creating Grown in Haiti to help and encourage the community in their vision of a green Haiti through education programs such as film screenings and seminars on topics including regenerative agricultural practices and climate change mitigation strategies.
Paula is a constant source of inspiration and a model for what is possible when we unlock creativity, inspiration, and education.