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About UNI

AN ARTIST COLLECTIVE

First held on May 18th 2018 for the 215th anniversary of the Haitian Flag, UNI is an annual event that showcases the richness and diversity of Haitian Culture. It is the brainchild of Haitian professional dancer Sanford Placide and has received the endorsement of The Consul General of Haiti in New York, Mr. Gandy Thomas. The theme of this year’s celebration is Sans - Souci.

 

THE UNI TEAM

 

SANFORD PLACIDE

Creator of UNI

Sanford Placide is the creator of UNI and the creative force behind the event. The Haitian-born professional dancer, who now calls New York City home, created UNI as a means of commemorating Haitian Flag Day and celebrating the nation's rich cultural heritage. Placide has traveled extensively and has mesmerized audiences globally with his amazing talents.

GANDY THOMAS

Consul General of Haiti in New York

Gandy Thomas is currently the Consul General of Haiti in New York. He previously held the position in both Atlanta and Miami. Mr. Thomas has received accolades for his leadership ability, creativity, and flexible thinking. He is driven by deep love and commitment to Haiti, as well as a love and commitment to the arts. Without the support of Mr. Thomas and the Haitian Consulate in New York, UNI would not have been possible.

JAKE HELGENBERG

Head of Marketing/Branding/Production

Originally from Philadelphia, Jake Helgenberg moved to New York City at the age of 15 to train at the JKO School of American Ballet Theatre and Manhattan Youth Ballet, where he met UNI's creator Sanford Placide. He danced professionally for two years with Pennsylvania Ballet before moving back to New York to attend Parsons School of Design. Having graduated in December 2018, Jake enjoys using the skills he acquired in school to bring awareness to UNI and the richness of Haitian culture in New York.