Creative Nassau (CN) has announced that its Official Launch event will be held under the auspices of the Governor General, His Excellency, Sir Arthur Foulkes on Friday, May 16, 2014 from 6-9pm at Doongalik Studios, #20 Village Road.
The community group was formed in 2008 by the late Jackson L. Burnside III and his wife Pam following an inspiring visit to Santa Fe to attend a UNESCO Creative Tourism Conference. On their return, they invited a group of Bahamians, passionate about their country, to join them in showcasing Bahamian culture to the world.
Creative Nassau is developing a Creative Tourism model to ensure that by the year 2020 more persons would travel to The Bahamas to experience its art, culture and heritage rather than just its sun, sand and sea.
Creative Nassau’s members Dr Nicolette Bethel, Pam Burnside, John Cox, Dr Davidson Hepburn, Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, Paulette Mortimer, Quentin ‘Barabbas’ and Maureen Woodside, Rosemary Hanna, Royann Dean, Sonia Farmer, Vaughn Roberts and Yvette Rolle are convinced that 'Creative Tourism' - which engages visitors in active participation with a community’s culture and provides them with an authentic experience of a community’s heritage - is the way forward. This form of tourism moves creativity to center stage in order to:
- enhance awareness, appreciation and celebration of our arts, culture and heritage
- encourage entrepreneurship and pride in what we do and produce
- develop self empowerment and employment at all economic and social levels
- strengthen the economy and increase Bahamian exports.
Creative Nassau recognizes that Cultural Industries can, and should, become the third pillar of our economy by making innovation an essential part of its developmental initiatives. In March of this year, Creative Nassau submitted their application to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for Nassau to be designated as the first UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Arts in the Caribbean or in a small island state. Their objective is to showcase the potential contributions inherent in the indigenous craft and folk arts of the straw tradition and the junkanoo festival.
Co Founder of the Group, Pam Burnside, stated “we have not given up in our quest to make this happen, even after five full years of constant focus on the project. We would also like to thank Cable Bahamas Cares Foundation for believing in our vision and providing the group with seed funding to begin research. On this third anniversary of Jackson’s passing, we are extremely happy to have completed the application to UNESCO and to hold this public launch. We look forward to persons signing on for membership in the group as there is so much to be done. The time is now to revolutionize the way we do things in this country - the “same old, same old model” is not longer viable.
“Our motto is ‘Celebrating and Promoting Bahamian Art, Culture and Heritage from the INSIDE OUT’. We, the people, have to be on board with the objective first and foremost. Only then can we sustain ourselves - mentally, socially and economically enough to invite visitors to come and celebrate with us. We need to bring the sense of community back to the Bahamian society to replace all the negativity, dishonesty and selfishness, which presently surrounds us. By working together, we CAN make positive things happen.”
The public is invited to attend this exciting event. They will be treated to interesting displays and exhibitions relating to straw and top quality products such as Harl Taylor BAG, The Plait Lady, and Keesha Miller, along with junkanoo history books by Arlene Nash Ferguson and Dr Emmanuel Francis, costumes and musical instruments, and authentic souvenir items. Patrons will be the first to view the Creative Nassau Website on this ‘go live’ night.
Bahamian refreshments will be available and entertainment throughout the evening will be provided by Barabbas’ Youth Band who will showcase their varied musical talents with rake and scrape, steel pan and junkanoo selections and the evening will conclude with a junkanoo rushout. For further information contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.