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(VIDEO) Rotary's Public Service Announcement Campaign to highlight Rotary's work in Haiti and help raise 1 million
Nassau, Bahamas - Rotary continues to help rebuild Haiti after the devastating Earthquake of January 2010 killed more than 300,000 people and left over one million displaced. To highlight Rotary's work and to bring attention for a request for donations, a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) will be aired in 6 countries in District 7020. The countries will include: The Bahamas; The British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; US Virgin Islands; St. Martin and Jamaica.
The English television and the English, French and Creole radio announcements will be on the air starting the third week in May 2011. The PSA can be viewed on YouTube or by typing into the search box on YouTube: "Rotary Haiti Earthquake Relief Funds Announcement..."
(Video) Holiday Appeal for Haiti on Behalf of Lead Creative Videographers' Eyes Blogger Todd Pierson
Chicago, Illinois, USA - Humanitarian Todd Pierson, who is the leading videographer showcased on Global B2B Communications ' Creative Videographer's Eyes blog that highlights positive examples of best-practice corporate video production, has created a short documentary film on behalf of his church of 12 years, LifeSpring Community Church), to help their Christmas appeal for support for "Haiti for Life".
Authorities said yesterday they had no idea just how many undocumented Haitian immigrants were aboard a sloop that ran aground at Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera, Wednesday evening, but they picked up 14 of them.
Eddie Ferguson, chief immigration officer, told The Nassau Guardian that between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. residents of the area noticed a group of suspected Haitian immigrants walking near a beach.
Ferguson said authorities apprehended 12 men and two women, who were taken to Governor's Harbour Police Station for processing.
It was unclear where the illegal immigrants traveled from, although Ferguson said based on preliminary reports it's suspected they came from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
"We do not know the exact circumstances of where they were heading either and we can't say at this point what has happened to the vessel they arrived on," Ferguson said.
"Right now preliminary investigations are going on, but normally in situations like this we try to identify the captain, but they are normally reluctant in giving up the captain's name."
Ferguson said the immigrants were transported to Nassau yesterday for further processing.
When asked if the Department of Immigration felt a significant proportion of immigrants evaded apprehension, Ferguson said, "I am pretty confident we got the vast majority because the area is not a very populated one."
He added that it is much easier for Haitian immigrants to blend in, in Exuma and certain parts of Eleuthera where there is a large population of Haitians.
"We will continue to follow up and solicit the public's help," Ferguson said.
"Local authorities do their own checks, but we rely on the goodwill of the people. For some reason it doesn't seem like the route normally used for this type of operation, so we have more questions than answers at this time."
An entire community gathered around the scene of the country's latest murder yesterday afternoon, after a 20-year-old man was shot to death during an apparent robbery just off the Charles W. Saunders Highway, according to police officials. This latest murder brings the country's murder count to 73 for the year.
Fire ripped through an apartment building in Bimini Sunday evening, leaving 25 people homeless, according to police.
Police suspect that an electrical shortage started the blaze at a 50-year-old building in Alice Town.
Officers from Bimini and New Providence are reportedly investigating.
The fire impacted eight families, according to authorities.
The Department of Social Services and local government representatives are assisting the fire victims, who are reportedly of Haitian descent.
Police and volunteer firefighters managed to contain the fire to the apartment building and prevented flames from spreading to nearby homes and businesses.
Employees from the Bahamas Electricity Corporation and the Bimini Big Game Resort and Marina helped in the effort, said police.
One firefighter received minor burns but no other injuries were reported, according to police.
Yesterday, Obie Wilchcombe, member of Parliament for West End and Bimini, appealed for help for his displaced constituents.
"Thank God no one lost their life but they are now without and we do make a plea for assistance," Wilchcombe said in the House of Assembly yesterday.
Minister of State for Social Services Loretta Butler-Turner assured him that social workers were already helping the fire victims.
"We were advised [Sunday evening] at the Department of Social Services of the fire and our people on the ground were able to find places to accommodate those individuals. Hopefully we'll have a report as to what they've done for them," Butler-Turner told Parliament.
Last week, a 36-year-old phone card vendor was killed after fire destroyed his family's home in Black Village, near the Big Pond subdivision in New Providence.
Brio Colebrook was asleep on the sofa of his four-room wooden home when the fire started around 1 a.m. last Tuesday, according to police.
Two children who lived in the home were taken to hospital for burns and smoke inhalation, police said.
Artists and spectators alike crowded the Central Bank of The Bahamas Wednesday night to hear the announcement that Jackson Petit-Homme had been chosen by the judges as the winner of their 28th Annual Central Bank Art Competition in the Open Category.Petit-Homme is no stranger to the feeling -- he's walked away with recognition in both the high school and open categories before, winning the High School Category twice, coming second in the Open Category twice, and winning the 3D portion of the Open Category as well, among honorable mentions.
But this is the first time he's won since the High School and Open Categories were split three years ago when Heino Schmid came on as curator of the Central Bank art gallery space. The new prizes of$7,000 and an offer to hold a solo exhibition by the winner in the space are exciting prospects for the artist who we haven't seen a solo show from before.
"The advantage of having the prize money is to use it as funds for materials for this show," Petit-Homme points out. "Jumping off the piece I've done for this competition, it's going to be a continuation. I think I've found the direction I want to go in."
This year, the theme for the Open Category was "So So Beautiful", chosen by Ian Fernander, the Head of Administration for Central Bank. Petit-Homme's winning piece,"Beautiful Monsters"stood out from other competitors, the judges said, because of its flawless technique and approach to the theme which kept drawing their gazes back.
"As soon as the announcement for the theme was made, I thought about the piece for an entire year and only in the last month did I make it," he says." Lately I've been thinking about my Haitian connection, and also the mythologies within Haitian culture, and creating my own mythology out of these in a way. But I'm also thinking about challenging beauty in it."
Petit-Homme's piece depicts, in a flurry of subdued, dreamy colors, parents with human and animal features looking upon their newborn--indeed, the opposing forces of beauty and monstrosity provide tension that challenges its viewers but presents a resolution in the child's story beyond the frame. Though fantastical, the piece resists high fantasy, and instead draws upon folklore and magical realist roots to pierce the veil of reality and touch upon the inherent "what if" in the ideal of beauty.
Petit-Homme will be following in the footsteps of recent winners Lavar Munroe(2009 winner with the theme"Redefining the Portrait")and Omar Richardson (2010 winner with the theme "A Mighty Push Forward") -- Munroe's show at the gallery was hugely successful, and Richardson's upcoming show in December will also prove to be spectacular.
Curator of the space, Heino Schmid, looks forward to Petit-Homme's compelling solo show as the artist is known for both his painting and video installation work.
"I'm really happy mainly because I'm excited to see what he does with his solo show," says Schmid. "He's a prolific artist and works in a variety of mediums. I hope he's ambitious as he wants to be with both the content and medium of work."
Indeed, the offer of a solo show remains optional for the artist to take -- however, it is usually expected that the prize money can help winning artists purchase supplies for a dynamic solo show that can have great financial and professional outcomes.
To Schmid, the pieces submitted to the Open Category Competition act somewhat like proposals for a solo show and should reflect that ambition -- which both he and the judges did not see strong evidence of this year around.
"I think a lot of people who enter this competition enjoy the one-off quality of their work and it's difficult to access how they would develop an exhibition based on the pieces you see here," says Schmid.
"I really want people to think in terms of not just winning this--I want them to look past winning this and also see their solo show as the actual culmination of this competition--a stepping stone to this grander gesture."
With a theme of "So So Beautiful", artists produced pieces that attempted to literally illustrate the theme--but like all competitions, the pieces which stand out always provide fresh and unusual perspectives to the theme or challenge the theme, which only a handful of pieces took the chance on.
"I think the weight of the prize makes you want to be the good student, meet the criteria and check the boxes to make sure you win, which may need some rethinking," says Schmid."There are more than a few very literal pieces instead of using the theme as a jumping-off point."
The result is an overall exhibition that may not entirely lack technique but does lack ambition, and after three years of lackluster response to themed exhibitions, Schmid is ready to further change the way the competition functions in the changing Nassau art scene.
Indeed, for many years the Central Bank of The Bahamas was the closest thing to a gallery space Nassau had, holding shows that would launch or define artists'careers. Likewise, their Annual Art Competition acted as a salon-style space for both up-and-coming and established artists to present their work. No doubt, it will always be regarded as a major player in the history of art in The Bahamas.
Yet the past decade came with a surge of new gallery spaces and The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas with their biannual National Exhibition, provided more avenues for artists to not only hold shows--but to gain more control of how their pieces were presented and who they were presented with.
Though the Central Bank remains an active part of the art scene, Schmid points out that its role as a gallery space has shifted, and it's time to shift the Annual Art Competition as well.
He already started by separating the High School and Open Categories three years ago and providing themes, hoping that the they would provide more of a compelling and unified space for up-and-coming and established artists to play and hold meaningful conversations with one another.
"One of the things I want to do with the competition is to develop a group exhibition that provides a relevant context for work and provides an opportunity for artists not to win an amount of money but to be in communication with each other,"says Schmid.
As of yet, though, Schmid has not been impressed with the turn out, leading him to think about tweaking the Annual Art Competition further to bring out the strong work he knows exists in the art community.
"I just want the show to be stronger -- I want artists to pick up the challenge and baton from the last winner and build on it," he says. "The exhibitions are never as ambitious as I want them to be. I am more than anything an art lover, and I want to be blown away by an art exhibition."
"I like to think momentum is building a little bit and in the future when we set a precedent with an exceptionally strong exhibition that will force people to reevaluate their systems and their practices a little."
The pieces entered into the 28th Annual Central Bank Art Competition in the Open Category are on display in the Central Bank of The Bahamas until October 28th. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Call 302 2600 for more information.
For four years, Empty Bowls has been a charity event that not only promotes art and culture in the country but also benefits the needy in our community.
In exchange for a small donation of $15, guests not only receive a delicious meal of Bahamian soup and a beautiful handcrafted keepsake in the form of a ceramic bowl with a bread roll and a cup of fevergrass tea, but also the satisfaction that they are working together with other Bahamians to fight a growing hunger problem in the country.
Originally conceived by John Harton, a teacher in Bloomfield, Michigan, as an event where ceramicists made beautiful bowls in which to serve soup in exchange for a donation to give to food banks, the Empty Bowls charity event has spread to communities all over North America and even the world.
After meeting Harton at a ceramics conference, Bahamian ceramicist Joann Behagg took up the cause and with the help of a dedicated committee.
"Everyone has their own version of Empty Bowls - ours takes on a Bahamian flavor," she says. "We're promoting Bahamian culture through the arts. We're trying to make people aware of things that are Bahamian so that we're not downplaying our culture."
Indeed the afternoon will be about all things Bahamian - this year they're spotlighting Bahamian culinary delights by serving up such native staples as chicken souse, peas soup and dumpling, conch chowder, okra soup and pumpkin soup, as well as native fevergrass tea.
They will be served in handmade bowls by such local ceramicists as Joann Behagg, Nadia Smith, Alistair Stevenson, Katrina Cartwright, Neko Meicholas and Robert Pennerman - which guests can keep as a thanks for their donation.
Yet that's not all the event has in store - besides celebrating culinary arts and visual arts, the charity event will have donated artwork on sale by such local artists as Rosemarie Laing, Danderia Bethel, Kennel Augustine and Don Russel, and will celebrate the performing arts with such local sensations as Jazz Etc, Nicolasena Davis Carter, Sonovia Pierre, and the National Children's Choir.
Behagg points out that the event is a chance for artists to use their talents to benefit the community.
"Artists can give and artists can make other people aware of the needs of the community through their giving," she says. "Through their efforts people not only see their work but also see that they have a heart, a conscience, and that they're willing to share their talent with other people."
"This event allows us to share our talents with our fellow Bahamians and make them aware that what you have is not just yours, it was given to you by your Father, and therefore he is asking you to help people who are in need - and people who are in need are hungry in our country."
All proceeds from the event will go towards the Great Commission Ministries International who work to feed many hungry Bahamians each day with filling and nutritious meals. Whereas in a previous year their donations have also gone towards providing relief to post-earthquake Haiti, this year the proceeds will go toward buying materials to donate to Family Island communities still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Irene.
"When we speak to Bahamians they ask us where the money is going, and when we say it's staying home they say they're glad because they're tired of money leaving the country. They want to help their own people," explains Behagg. "We know people who don't have at home, so we'd like to help our own this year."
"Around the world this event helps people to feed food banks, but we don't have food banks in The Bahamas, so it's all self-help projects here. If we don't help ourselves, people will just go hungry."
This year's event is a true reflection of all sectors of the community really coming together, says Behagg, because they have found strong support from the schools. Not only are schools like C.C. Sweeting donating soups and johnny cake, but many students have committed to making and donating their own bowls to the event, such as those from Queen's College, St. Andrew's, C.C. Sweeting and Kingsway - who has even been inspired to form their own Empty Bowls club.
"We visit schools and organizations to encourage them to get involved and attend the event to encourage people to be conscious of the fact that people are hungry, and we need them to take part," she says. "Even if you think a dollar can't help, a dollar can go a long way especially if lots of people donate one."
Indeed, she appeals to the entire community to come and pass a lovely Sunday afternoon with delicious food and great cultural experiences, as well as fun games for the kids. Every little bit goes a long way in order to fight hunger and support each other, she says.
"This is not for a certain sect of society - this is for everybody," says Behagg. "People need to come and support it because to split the money between all of our receiving organizations, we need to get a lot of response. We want Bahamians to come so we can make it a big Bahamian effort, not just help from a couple of people."
Empty Bowls Charity Event is free to attend and will take place February 26, 1 p.m.- 6 p.m. at Queen's College on Village Road. To place an order for tickets for bowls and soup at $15 per person, call 327-8109 - though they will also be available at the door.
Tickets will also be available from committee members who include Jay Mills Jones, Andrea Archer, Jessica Minnis, Sidney Knowles, Dolores Schaffer, Mae Thompson, Betty Vonhamm, Carol Hepple, Zena Builand, Bennadette Ellis, Goergina LaRocca, Evangeline Halkidis, Andrea Miller-Curling, Alistair Stevenson, Sabrina Skinner, Jemmany Cleare, Paja Bahatnajer, Erin Smith, Whitley Lewis, Giselle Cristiano, Beverley Smith, Linda Bryson, Lawrence Bryson and Nicky Johnson.