Creative Nassau (CN), the registered non-profit organization, which was successful in obtaining for the City of Nassau the prestigious designation ‘UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Arts’ in 2014, has relayed a warm welcome to the 64 new member cities of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). With this latest addition, the network now numbers 180 cities from 72 countries.
CN President Pam Burnside stated: “Creative Nassau is so proud to be one of only three cities in the Caribbean region to have achieved membership in this prestigious network, and we achieved success without any government help. Our UNESCO application identified the promotion and enhancement of our amazing Straw industry and Junkanoo traditions as our primary focus. Our very small team of passionate Bahamians, all deeply involved in the cultural community, have continued to work assiduously, both locally and globally, to carry out our mission to ‘promote and celebrate Bahamian art, culture and heritage from the inside out.’
“Internationally, 2017 has been a busy year with travel to our sister city of Santa Fe, New Mexico to investigate the participation of Bahamian artisans in the 2018 International Folk Arts Market there. Creative Nassau also secured the participation of Peter Ives of Santa Fe as a keynote speaker at this year’s “Orange Economy” Webinar held in conjunction with the Central Bank of The Bahamas.
“In September, we attended the first ever UCCN Craft and Folk Arts Cluster Conference in Paducah, Kentucky where an official Declaration was signed by member cities of the Cluster stating our commitment to UNESCO’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. In October, Bahamian ceramicist Alistair Stevenson, who is presently completing his ceramics degree in Jingdezhen, China, curated and manned the successful Creative Nassau pavilion at one of the largest International Ceramics Fair in China. In November, travel to Bolivia to attend a Civil Society Meeting on behalf of the Inter-American Development Bank will also expand opportunity for further international networking.
“Through this amazing membership, The Bahamas has established a firm footing on the international stage, demonstrating to the world that we are indeed more than just sun, sand and sea. It is our hope that this new government will now recognize and fully embrace this UNESCO designation and utilize it as a development engine for the country for the benefit of all.”
CN Vice President Patricia Glinton Meicholas added: “Although our group comprises just a few core persons, Creative Nassau is totally committed to building and developing our country through its people who are our most precious resource. Much work needs to be done here at home but we can achieve so much more if we commit to forming strategic international partnerships in order to pool resources, share ideas and collaborate to advance the creative agenda. We sincerely thank all of those persons and entities who have linked with us, recognizing the power of creativity to transform lives. Our ‘true true’ stories must be told with accuracy and pride to ensure the sustainability of our rich Bahamian history and heritage. This is what makes us so special and it must be preserved for generations to come.”