WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2012

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/78488

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Page 147 of 211

good works "the resilience of the Haitian people" left: Haitian artist with an example of tin art below:Wellesely High School students selling art outside Roche Bros. retired WHS history teacher, and Peter Adler, an accomplished businessman, the students worked to develop an e-com- merce Web site, brainstormed new prod- uct ideas for the artisans, and planned fundraisers to help generate capital for future business endeavors. hammers, chisels, and heat to shape metal into intricate objects that they then paint with bright hues or leave with the original patina. While the earthquake left these artists in bad shape, the reality is that the demand for their work had been declining for years prior as the tourist industry slowly abandoned Haiti. But that day in 2010, as Dr. Kaplan wandered through the city, he came up with an idea that would change the course of the artists' luck. If buyers weren't coming to Haiti to buy art, he would bring Haitian art directly to buyers. The proceeds could then be funneled back into the community that so desperately needed help. Dr. Kaplan knew that he couldn't do this alone. One of his first steps was to call Jane Lord, teacher of the global marketing class at Wellesley High School (WHS). "I said I have this product that you could consider using as part of your class," recalls Dr. Kaplan. "I thought it would pro- vide an educational experience for [the students] and give them the opportunity to learn about global marketing in real time. We'd talk not only about the economics, but also about the history and social policy of Haiti." Ms. Lord loved the idea and soon the global marketing class was off and run- ning, learning how to strategically sell the Haitian art to maximize profits. In between lectures by Dr. Kaplan, Gerald Murphy, a 146 "It's been wonderful to take the academic concepts that we're study- ing and see them applied to a real world situation," says Ms. Lord. "And the students have such a good feeling about giving back. Ninety eight percent of the money we earn goes directly to Haiti and Dr. Kaplan tells the students exactly what that money is going towards." Dr. Kaplan remains in such close contact with the students not because he's focused on their sales, although every dollar helps, but because he really believes in their learning experience. "The students have a chance to learn about another culture; that's what's important to me," says Dr. Kaplan. "Making them aware of issues of poverty, but also giving a human side to this in terms of talking about...the resilience of the Haitian people and their willingness to work in spite of all the tragedies that happened there." WellesleyWeston Magazine | fall 2012 EVENS RAYMOND CHRISTINA CHAN

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