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NASSAU TAKES PART IN THE FIRST EVER UCCN CLUSTER MEETING IN PADUCAH, KENTUCKY

Pam Burnside and Mary Ann Jones traveled to Paducah, Kentucky in September as delegates for the City of Nassau in the first Cluster Meeting of the UCCN Cities of Crafts and Folk Arts! Attended by 9 Cities of Crafts and Folk Arts, as well as candidate applicant cities, and a wide range of local and regional cities interested in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, the 5-day Conference was filled with an amazing array of presentations, events, demonstrations, field visits, videos and the warm southern hospitality of the people of Paducah, who have turned their city into a booming success by making Creative Tourism their economic engine! (You can listen to the CN Radio broadcast discussing the trip on the "Creative Nassau Radio Shows" page)

Paducah is home to the National Quilt Museum of America - quilting having been a catalyst for their successful transformation, along with their vibrant creative communities and healthy river industry. Mary Ann Jones, one of the founders of the Sew 'N Sews quilting group in Nassau, found the experience absolutely informative and enlightening, with the networking and connections obtained boding well for collaborative projects in the future.

Pam Burnside, President of Creative Nassau, enjoyed connecting with the other sister cities present from the Network and obtained valuable insight into Paducah's successful use of creativity which completely transformed the city into the thriving rural centre it has become! The conference ended with the official signing of the 'Paducah Declaration' which set out the Cluster's commitment to working towards the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

....and the days were filled with activities, insights, a plethora of valuable information, and amazing down home southern hospitality - THANK YOU, PADUCAH!! 

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CREATIVE NASSAU PREPARES FOR ORANGE ECONOMY WEBINAR

Orange Economy Webinar Evite August 2017.jpg

Creative Nassau, in collaboration with The Central Bank of The Bahamas and the Inter-American Development Bank, invites the public to The Orange Economy Webinar on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at the Central Bank Conference Room from 9am – 1pm. The webinar will examine and discuss the benefits of this economic model, which centres on the immense value that can be derived from the creative industries for the country and the region.

Due to limited seating at the Central Bank, the public is urged to reserve their space for this valuable seminar as soon as possible by registering on the Creative Nassau website’s “CONTACT US” page at www.creativenassau.com, or by sending an email to creativenassau@gmail.com. Picture ID will also be required for entry to the Central Bank on the day of the webinar. The Central Bank will also be providing an internet link for individuals to log in to the webinar site.

The Orange Economy e-book is free and can be downloaded from the internet. Launched by the IDB in October 2013, the book has been described as follows: This manual has been designed and written with the purpose of introducing key concepts and areas of debate around the "creative economy", a valuable development opportunity that Latin America, the Caribbean and the world at large cannot afford to miss. The creative economy, which we call the "Orange Economy" in this book (you'll see why), encompasses the immense wealth of talent, intellectual property, interconnectedness, and, of course, cultural heritage of the Latin American and Caribbean region (and indeed, every region). At the end of this manual, you will have the knowledge base necessary to understand and explain what the Orange Economy is and why it is so important. You will also acquire the analytical tools needed to take better advantage of opportunities across the arts, heritage, media, and creative services.

The webinar will feature economist Felipe Buitrago, one of the authors of the e-book, as the main speaker. In July 2014, Mr Buitrago was invited to speak at the Central Bank of The Bahamas, along with the President of Creative Nassau, Pamela Burnside, who had previously been invited to Washington, DC to be a panelist on the IDB’s Caribbean symposium “Fostering Economic and Commercial Viability of the Caribbean Creative Economy” and the presentation was repeated at the Central Bank for the benefit of the Bahamian audience. This encounter established the strong relationship between the participants.

Other speakers for the webinar will include Dr Keith Nurse, a well-respected Caribbean scholar and researcher, and Peter Ives from the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of the first cities to be designated a City of Crafts and Folk Arts in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). A trip to Santa Fe by Jackson and Pam Burnside to attend a Creative Tourism Conference in 2008 became the impetus to form Creative Nassau on their return in order to facilitate their company’s mission. The main goal is that ‘by the year 2020, more persons will travel to The Bahamas for its art, culture and heritage rather than merely for its sun, sand and sea’ – an achievable timeline that is coming closer to fruition. Creative Nassau now comprises an executive team of four Bahamian creatives wholly dedicated to fulfilling that mission.

In 2014, Creative Nassau was successful in obtaining the prestigious UCCN designation for the City of Nassau as a City of Crafts and Folk Arts, one of the first cities to do so in the region. Presently there are only two other Caribbean cities in the UCCN – Jacmel in Haiti, and Kingston, Jamaica so more cities are encouraged to apply to join the Network. In the same way it is envisioned that this Orange Economy webinar can establish a vital link between cities within the region, membership in the UCCN would also provide a similar opportunity.

As a UNESCO Creative City, Nassau is a member of a network that consists of 116 cities in 54 countries around the world covering the seven creative fields of Crafts & Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music, and Media Arts, with the mandate to use creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The cities work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level. The Orange Economy model, therefore, is a perfect tool to achieve these goals. More information on the network can be obtained from the UCCN website at http://en.unesco.org/creative-cities/home

Creative Nassau President, Pam Burnside, expressed her sincere thanks to Governor Rolle and his team at the Central Bank of The Bahamas for facilitating the event, as the Bank’s support since 2014 has been unwavering. She also thanked the IDB for their assistance and encouragement, along with the other speakers. It is hoped that understanding and adopting the Orange Economy model will be recognized as an important tool for sustainable development whose benefits can assist not only The Bahamas, but other countries of the region.

Felipe Buitrago                                    Dr Keith Nurse                                  Peter Ives

 

 

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CN PRESIDENT TRAVELS TO SANTA FE, A SISTER CITY

CN President Pam Burnside traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico last month as a guest of the UCCN Sister City of Crafts & Folk Arts to visit their annual and very popular International Folk Art Market with the view of the City of Nassau participating in the 2018 event! 

Whilst there, she also participated in a meeting with Mayor Cho of South Korea, another UCCN City that was also participating in the City's International Art Exhibitions exhibiting their amazing ceramics. It was an extremely enlightening and successful trip!

Mayor Cho (centre) of South Korea and with his delegation with Santa Fe officials and Pam

Mayor Cho (centre) of South Korea and with his delegation with Santa Fe officials and Pam

The UCCN Cluster of Crafts and Folk Arts which comprises over 20 member cities, is preparing for their group's meeting in Paducah, Kentucky during September.

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CN PRESIDENT PRESENTS AT CARIBBEAN STUDIES ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE

CN President, Pam Burnside  was honoured to be invited to participate in a Plenary session entitled: "Activist Interventions: Working on the Frontline" on Friday, June 9 - the final conference day of the week-long 42nd Annual Caribbean Studies Association Conference under the theme “Culture and Knowledge Economies: The Future of Caribbean Development?”  which was held at the Meliá Nassau Beach – All Inclusive Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, 5-10 June 2017. The session was moderated by CSA President, Keithley Woolward with other panelists: Dr Rita Pratt of the Bahamas African Heritage Museum, Malaika Brooks-Smith Lowe of Groundation Grenada, and Diana Hamilton of The Cat Island Accordion Camp.  (Photos above kind courtesy of Eric Rose, Bahamas Information Services)

The text of Burnside's power point presentation which was delivered in the form of 'Ol' story time', follows :

  ‘ACTIVIST INTERVENTIONS: WORKING ON THE FRONTLINE’ :A Doongalik and Creative Nassau story

ONCE UPON A TIME WAS A MERRY OLD TIME, THE MONKEY CHEW TOBACCO AND SPIT WHITE LIME…..This is a story about love and loss, about fate and faith, about purpose and passion, about determination and drive, and about Caribbean culture and creativity.

Once upon this time, there was a big head, boisterous Bahamian boy named Jackson Logan Burnside III who grew up to be an architect, artist, teacher and junkanoo, and a little biggity Bahamian girl, Pamela Jones who grew up to be a lover of words, fashion designer, kindergarten teacher and gallery owner. Both of them looooved The Bahamas with a burning passion, and, as fate would have it, they met in London, England, and fell in love.

J&P came back to an independent Bahamas in the early ‘70s, got married, and embarked upon a shared mission of ‘showing off’ Bahamian art to the world by creating ‘Doongalik’ (that’s their own made up word from the ‘doong’ sound of the junkanoo goat skin drum, and the ‘kalik’ sound of the junkanoo cowbells), and established Doongalik Studios with the mission statement that: by the year 2020, more visitors will come to The Bahamas because of its Art, Culture and Heritage rather than merely for its sun, sand and sea.

With fierce determination and unmitigated faith, these two cultural entrepreneurs went about the formidable task of promoting Bahamian fine art, culture, architecture, and junkanoo for decades, with a few like-minded artists, and no government assistance, slowly inching forward, one itsy, bitsy step at a time.

Then in 2008, J&P attended the first UNESCO Creative Tourism conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico and returned home fired up to move their mission fast forward with a group of like-minded Bahamians, and BOOM!! Creative Nassau, a registered non-profit, civil society organization was born with the goal of positioning Bahamian Art, Culture and Heritage on the global stage!

 With valuable insight gained from the trip to Santa Fe, and using Bahamian Straw craft and the Junkanoo tradition as the main elements, they boldly applied for membership in the prestigious UNESCO Creative Cities Network - an amazing group of 116 cities from 54 countries around the world showcasing Creativity in seven fields, as the driving force for development and sustainability.

This was something that no other Caribbean island had ever done – but J&P were not boisterous and biggity for nothing! They had faith, drive, determination, purpose and passion……and so the years-long journey continued along its path, resolutely pushing Bahamian Art and Culture forward through many activities such as: Transforming Spaces, an amazing annual Art Exhibition developed through the collaborative efforts of the Bahamian art community, an Art Exhibition at the Atlanta Olympics, along with the release of the Bahamian art documentary Artists of the Bahamas, featuring 11 master artists.

But in 2011, fate intervened, and Jackson passed away before seeing the official launch of Creative Nassau in May 2014, and the subsequent success, in December of that year of obtaining that prestigious UNESCO membership for the City of Nassau to become a Creative City of Crafts and Folk Arts, a first for the region and another first because it was achieved without any government assistance!

In the art world Jackson’s death was impactful – it triggered the first ever Junkanoo Exhibition “As We Knew Him” at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, which finally broke down the barriers between junkanoo and fine art and caused a dray-load of Bahamians to flock to the institution for the very first time. Later that year, a magnificent  ‘Artists of The Bahamas’ Exhibition was mounted at the Waterloo Centre for the Arts in Iowa, travelling later to Florida, and exposing Bahamian art on the international stage.

So now that you know the story of the past, let’s imagine what this mean for The Bahamas’, as well as the Caribbean region’s tourism brand, which has relied primarily on its ‘sun, sand and sea’ for decades. How relevant do you think this ‘sun, sand and sea’ model is in the present day 21st century?

Bahamian Royann Dean made this observation, and it is a premise that is being discussed at length within the region, but to what degree is it being seriously considered or implemented in order to realize its true benefits?

The DGLK and CN journey has embraced, and is living the tenets of the UNESCO Creative Tourism model, and is proof that it is successful – just from the efforts of a small group of determined creatives. So imagine what would happen if the powers-that-be, and the wider public came on board!

By making art, culture and heritage the driving force of the tourism engine, and by using the skills of our phenomenally gifted people, who are the unique keepers of these elements, major positive impacts can be made in all of our countries - socially, physically and economically.

In this 21st century, slavery is alive and well, and I repeat – slavery is alive and well, if we continue to be solely dependent upon, and beholden to foreign direct investment, and dictated to by the foreign owned cruise ship industry that we have allowed to define us!

Or, do we wish to become the masters of our own fate, and to take that risk in ourselves: to have faith in our own people, and to believe in our boundless creativity to retain, grow and sustain the uniqueness of our tourism product, like Nevis is doing? Can you imagine the phenomenal impact this would have, and the power we would weld if we would embrace this model together?

This is the important message inherent in “The Orange Economy” – a free e-book which can be downloaded online. Extremely user friendly, it clearly demonstrates why its message is so relevant and immediate for us all – there is no time to lose!

So DGLK and CN journey on with purpose, buoyed by a handful of passionate and determined colleagues who are rightfully proud of these local and international achievements, such as:

a)   A thriving crafts Market, held twice weekly in Pompey Square in conjunction with the Downtown Nassau Partnership, to showcase and sell the unique products of ‘true-true’ Bahamian artisans;

b)   A weekly ½-hour Creative Nassau Radio show that airs on Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons;

c)   A 15-minute straw craft documentary that is available free on our facebook page. This project has led to the drafting of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of the Environment under the Forestry Act, for the purpose of protecting and sustaining the valuable raw materials for the Straw craft industry found mostly in the Family Islands. Additionally, an application has been submitted to UNESCO for the possible inscription of Bahamian Straw craft on the Representative List under the Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention;

d)   The opportunity to showcase Bahamian art and craft by curating the 12 display cases at the Lynden Pindling International Airport;

e)   A summer school arts programme in collaboration with the IDB, which impacted over 50 students by exposing them to the positive influence of artistic endeavours. As a result of this activity, a MoU has also been signed with Teleica Kirkland (pictured below) of the Costume Institute of the African Diaspora in London, England for a students’ exchange programme centred around Bahamian straw and sustainable fashion.

f)    A presentation on Bahamian Art and the Economy at an IDB Conference in Washington which sparked the interest in ‘The Orange Economy’ model that will result in a webinar later this year;

g)   Participation in the 2015 and 2016 annual UNESCO AGMs in Kanazawa, Japan and Ostersund, Sweden, with plans for other trips abroad to collaborate on creative exchanges with sister cities;

h)   The collaboration, along with other civil society groups, on the IDB’s Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative for the Redevelopment of Downtown Nassau and the Bain & Grants Town residential community which was also presented internationally during the AGM in Sweden.

As my story winds down, strangely enough in another twist of fate, this year is proving to be a magical one with the journey coming full circle as DGLK and CN have been invited to be intimately involved in the unfolding of a Creative Tourism model with the Atlantis, Paradise Island Resort in the establishment of a successful twice-monthly Art Walk in Marina Village!

This event allows Bahamian artists, artisans, musicians and farmers to showcase and sell their products and produce to the local and visiting public. In addition, DGLK and CN have also been an integral part of Atlantis’ recent ‘Come to Life’ Re-branding Launch which has been designed to offer the visitor a ‘true-true’ experience of Bahamian culture through the Bahamian people ‘being who dey is and not who dey ain’t!’

The journey has been long, and the journey has been lonely, and although the road has been steep and winding, and dark, and filled with potholes, the steady movement towards the destination has not wavered, and there, in the distance, a light is shining, brighter every day, lighting the way for us to encourage and welcome others to join hands on the road to the future. …2020 is just around the corner and we gan soon reach!

BE BO BEN, MY STORY END…Thank you!

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CREATIVE NASSAU MARKET HOLDS ITS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING FOR 2017

Members of the CN Market, which takes place on Wednesdays and Fridays in Pompey Square on Bay Street, held their AGM for the new year at Doongalik on January 26th to review their achievements in 2016 and to make plans for the new year in order to make 2017 even more successful!

Our thanks, as always, were extended to our "Mayor", Mr Gevon Moss  (back row, 3rd from left) of the Downtown Nassau Partnership, who is in charge of the Pompey Square activities!

 

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VP PATRICIA GLINTON-MEICHOLAS PRESENTS AT MAJORITY RULE DAY SYMPOSIUM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE BAHAMAS

Creative Nassau Vice President, Patricia Glinton-Meicholas was one of the speakers on a panel at the University of The Bahamas' 2-day Symposium held in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Bahamas' Majority Rule Day which was celebrated on Tuesday, January 10, 2017. 

Glinton-Meicholas' topic was entitled "Majority Misrule: Banishing the 'demos' from Democracy" and a video documentary of the entire symposium over the 2 day period can be accessed  athttps://www.facebook.com/fdt242/programme

Patti.jpg

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TALENTED BAHAMIAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE 2017 SOLAR CAR CHALLENGE IN THE USA

The radio studio photo shows (left to right): Pam, Father Turnquest, 11th Grade student Dwayna Archer, Head Boy and Team Leader Justyn Sweeting, 12th Grade student Richard Hanna and Patti.

The radio studio photo shows (left to right): Pam, Father Turnquest, 11th Grade student Dwayna Archer, Head Boy and Team Leader Justyn Sweeting, 12th Grade student Richard Hanna and Patti.

On this evening's Creative Nassau Radio Show on Island FM 102.9, Pam and Patti interviewed four amazing guests: Father Shazz Turnquest, Physics Teacher at St John’s College and three of the 15 talented students who have embarked on a fascinating journey – to build a solar powered car to display at the annual Solar Car Challenge taking place in July in Texas, USA! Their group will be the first ever from the Caribbean to take part! You can listen to the radio show here: 

Read more about their activities on to this link from the November 9th Edition in the Nassau Guardian:

http://www.thenassauguardian.com/…/69086-moving-beyond-chal…

It will take $50,000 to get the car and the students to Texas next year, so Father Turnquest would appreciate any donations towards this amazing cause. You can message him on his facebook page for further information or contact Creative Nassau. Let’s support these enterprising young students, everyone!

The Creative Nassau Radio Show is proudly sponsored by Esso Bayshore and Esso Winton.

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CREATIVE NASSAU MAKES PRESENTATION TO COB STUDENTS

Left to right: Architect Michael Diggiss who heads the Expo 2020 team, COB Architecture Lecturer Valaria Pintard-Flax, CN Members Patricia, Rosemary and Pam, COB Visual Art Lecturer Michael Edwards, and Dean of Faculty of Liberal and Fine Arts Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett

Left to right: Architect Michael Diggiss who heads the Expo 2020 team, COB Architecture Lecturer Valaria Pintard-Flax, CN Members Patricia, Rosemary and Pam, COB Visual Art Lecturer Michael Edwards, and Dean of Faculty of Liberal and Fine Arts Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett

Creative Nassau members, President Pam Burnside, CN Market Coordinator Rosemary Hanna and Vice President Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, were invited to address COB architecture and visual art students on October 27 about their organization and the crucial role that Creativity plays in nation building. The presentation was a part of COB's ongoing 'Conversations with...' series of lectures in preparation for the student's charge by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to design The Bahamas' Pavilion for Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Each CN member made 15-minute power point presentations which dealt with the history and role of Creative Nassau, as well as the rich history of Bahamian Art and Architecture, in particular the clapboard house. CN members also elaborated on how the organization's mission to promote and celebrate Bahamian Art, Culture and Heritage from the inside out, is being implemented, and explained how the amazing lessons that exist within the architecture and art established by our ancestors contain the potential as engines for much needed national development and growth.

Students were urged to take inspiration and pride from these Bahamian treasures.

 

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CN VICE PRESIDENT ADDRESSES THE BAHAMAS HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Creative Nassau Vice President, Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, addressed the first fall meeting of the Bahamas Historical Society (TBHS) last evening on the topic: "First Rat in the Hole Tail Cover: Roots of Psychocultural Obstacles to National Development". Interested attendees were treated, in 'true true' no-nonsense Glinton-Meicholas fashion, to a fascinating in-depth historical and cultural analysis of how to move our country forward by recognizing and dealing with our many challenges. Glinton-Meicholas began her presentation by referring to the wonderful experiences gained at the recent UNESCO Creative Cities Network meeting in Sweden. The presentation text should be available in the next  TBHS Publication. For more information about the TBHS please check their website at www.bahamashistoricalsociety.com

Glinton-Meicholas (left) with Bahamas Historical Society President, Andrea Major

Glinton-Meicholas (left) with Bahamas Historical Society President, Andrea Major

Patricia Glinton-Meicholas is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and the University of Miami. She is an educator, author, poet, cultural critic and avid researcher of Bahamian history, culture and arts. She was the first woman to present the Sir Lynden Pindling Memorial Lecture and the first Bahamian writer to win the Bahamas Cacique Award for Writing.
 
A veteran educator, Glinton-Meicholas spent an aggregate of 17 years at The College of The Bahamas, where she served variously as a lecturer, divisional head, academic dean, Council Secretary and most recently, Vice President, Communications.
 
Dedicated to community development, Glinton-Meicholas was a founding member of the Boards of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas and of the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation. She is founding member of the Cable Bahamas Cares Foundation and Creative Nassau, and a judge of the Templeton Laws of Life Essay Competition.

 

 

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CREATIVE NASSAU ATTENDS UCCN 10th ANNUAL MEETING IN SWEDEN

Creative Nassau President, Pam Burnside and Vice President, Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, along with Gevon Moss of the Downtown Nassau Partnership were honoured to represent the City of Nassau at the recent UNESCO Creative Cities Network 10th Annual Meeting in Östersund, Sweden (a UCCN City of Gastronomy) this month. 

CN Mayor, Gevon Moss of the Downtown Nassau Partnership joins Patti and Pam at the Island FM 102.9 Radio Station to talk about their trip to Östersund, Sweden for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network's Xth Annual Meeting

CN Mayor, Gevon Moss of the Downtown Nassau Partnership joins Patti and Pam at the Island FM 102.9 Radio Station to talk about their trip to Östersund, Sweden for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network's Xth Annual Meeting

The UCCN now numbers 116 cities from 54 countries, and the Annual Meeting offers a unique opportunity to strengthen ties between the cities, to dialogue and exchange information, to formulate partnerships, and to determine and implement Network objectives, strategies and operations. The event took place over a period of a jam-packed week of activities which began with a three-day pre-Conference, at the Mid Sweden University which focused on Sustainability. Roland Krebs, Consultant for the IDB's Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI) and the Nassau Urban Lab study, joined the team to make a presentation based on the recent plan prepared for the Bahamian government's National Development Plan for Downtown Bay Street and the Grants/Bain Town areas in Nassau, a project that was developed in conjunction with the consultants along with Bahamian stakeholders, civil society groups including Creative Nassau, and architecture students from the University of Vienna and the College of The Bahamas.

The following days were taken up with the UCCN's extensive Meeting Agenda, including several sessions hosted by author, Charles Landry, well known for his various books dealing with the concept of 'Creative Cities', and visits to various venues in the Ostersund and Jamtland areas where delegates were treated to exciting samples of Swedish art, culture, heritage, and gastronomical delights!

Following the UCCN Conference, Pam and Patti traveled to Vienna to visit with Mr Krebs and several of the Vienna University students and also to meet with an urban planning organization that oversees an area of Vienna city, who shared his expertise in the programme.

The 2017 Annual Meeting will be held in Enghien les Bains in France.

For more information about the Conference and the UNESCO Creative Cities Network log on to the website http://en.unesco.org/creative-cities/home

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CREATIVE NASSAU PARTICIPATES IN OAS DEVELOPMENT FUND WEBINAR

CN executives, Pam Burnside and Patricia Glinton Meicholas, along with CN Market artisan Martine Cleare, took part in an informative Caribbean regional webinar hosted by the OAS office in Washington on July 8, which discussed the reports of a two year grant funding programme in the Craft Sector throughout the Region. Shacara Lightbourne of the IICA office on Village Road kindly hosted the webinar, whilst other CN members logged in online from their respective locations. 

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