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The resiliency of the human spirit will shine in an international conference held in Milwaukee. For “Haiti 2012: Dreams and Reality,” several city institutions collaborate on a multi-day event honoring the contemporary art, cinema and literature flourishing on a tiny island nation too often defined by natural disasters and poverty.

Some of the nation’s prestigious artists will be highlighted each day. On Wednesday, March 7, at Marquette University’s Weasler Auditorium, renowned director Arnold Antonin will present his film Les Amours d’un Zombi (The Loves of a Zombie), which incorporates political themes through avant-garde scenarios. The screening begins at 7 p.m.

On Thursday, March 8, there will be a tribute to Richard and Erna Flagg’s worldclass Haitian art exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM). Tours of the recently redesigned collection will begin at 2 p.m. A 5 p.m. reception precedes 6 p.m. lectures by experts in Haitian art. Afterward, a panel discussion led by the MAM’s chief curator, Brady Roberts, continues until 8 p.m.

To complement MAM’s collection, the Lynden Sculpture Garden features an exhibition of art by Midwest businessman Orville Bulman, titled “Haiti and The Midwestern Imagination” (opening March 7).

A self-taught artist, Bulman’s 1950s work offers another perspective on Haitian art. His work will be presented along with watercolors of Haiti by Oscar Sanchez.

Concluding “Haiti 2012” on Friday, March 9, UW-Milwaukee will host lectures by three award-winning authors addressing Haitian life, literature and politics. The talks will reflect on how art and dreams can flourish even in areas of great suffering.

All events are free, except Thursday’s, where admission is required for non-museum members. For a complete schedule of events and more information, visit or

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