'POSITIVE ENERGY FOR POSITIVE CHANGE' - the title of the Inter-American Development Bank's (IDB) Summer 2015 Art Workshop, was well in evidence at the Opening of the Exhibition last evening at Doongalik Studios Art Gallery, highlighting the work of close to 50 students who participated in the camp over the past weeks. It was a night abuzz with energy and excitement for the Creative Nassau tshirt-clad students ranging in age from 9 - 14 years of age, who packed the gallery to proudly show off to their families, friends and the public who came out to celebrate with them, their depictions of the techniques and art forms, along with their models of colourful Bahamian clapboard houses - the traditional edifices of the country, that had been taught by tutors, Yutavia George and Kirkland Deal,

The Bahamas Country Office of the IDB launched the Summer Art Workshop as a part of their mandate - ‘Improving Lives by Engaging in Local Communities’, which leveraged existing IDB outreach in the communities of Kemp Road and West Hill Street. To increase the possibility of success for the venture, organizers involved respected guidance counselors who know and have earned the trust of the children and their parents, owing to their track record of caring and good work in these communities.  

The IDB has been involved in many interventions, such as energy efficiency projects, the Creative Economy, Citizen Security, programs for at-risk youth. This latest workshop was designed to share IDB and the country’s experience in these initiatives with the participants by tapping into the creative minds of young Bahamians and providing a channel for expression through the creative arts as research shows that students who “have a history of in-depth arts involvement show better academic outcomes” than those who have less arts involvement. Research also shows that students who have been exposed to the arts are “more likely to show civic-minded behavior,” as compared to those who have not.

Astrid Wynter, Representative of the IDB’s Country Office Bahamas stated: “The IDB is privileged to partner with Creative Nassau and the North East Pastors Alliance, to offer this arts workshop to children from the communities served by Bethel Baptist Church and Gladtidings Tabernacle.  We intend to continue to foster such partnerships and outreach especially with respect to serving the needs of youth in our surrounding communities.  The Bank is planning to support the continuation and expansion of the summer creative workshops with a complementary after school program later this year.”

Pam Burnside, President of Creative Nassau added: “We were honoured to be asked to collaborate on this project, as strengthening Community through creativity is one of the platforms of our organization. I commend the organizers and teachers who saw the wisdom in putting on this Workshop. as it is so important that Bahamians recognize the amazing potential that resides within their creativity that can be used in many positive ways for the country’s development.”

IDB representative, Camille Thompson delivered the welcoming address at the Opening. Creative Nassau Vice President, Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, who offered thanks to all who had made the Exhibition such a success, and was joined by Kirk Deal who added his comments and gratitude for the opportunity.

The IDB is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

The Exhibition will be on display at the Doongalik Studios Art Gallery until Wednesday, August 12. Gallery hours are Monday-Wednesday, 10am - 4pm.

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