CUNNINGHAM DISCUSSES INVESTMENT IN THE ARTS AT BAHAMAS EMBASSY “CONVERSATION SERIES”

Posted on: May 8, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — The Bahamas Embassy in Washington, D.C., convened its fifth edition of its “YOUNG BAHAMIANS CONVERSATION SERIES” on Friday, May 5, 2017, with speaker Mr. Dion Cunningham presenting an informative and interactive talk on the topic: “Investment in the Arts as crucial to national identity and morale”.

The “YOUNG BAHAMIANS CONVERSATION SERIES” is an initiative aimed at providing a forum for young Bahamians in the diaspora in the Washington, D.C. area “to present and dialogue on their research or work and cultivate ideas for the betterment of The Bahamas.” It is being presented under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Eugene Newry, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States.

Currently working to become the first Bahamian Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Maryland, Mr. Dion Cunningham was well qualified to discuss his topic as he has already performed at the highest level on the world stage, including the prestigious Carnegie Hall, and continues to invest in the education of Bahamian students through teaching and his signature Adventures in Western Art Music programme.
Mr. Cunningham began his talk by highlighting the history and influence of the culture of people of color on emergent western and mainstream culture, particularly highlighting instances of appropriation in Western culture. He suggested that over time, particularly as a result of appropriation, the culture of people of color had become divorced from the previous synergy and importance it had with systems of governance. He then chronicled the history of artistic expression in The Bahamas and surveyed the current state of the arts globally and in The Bahamas.

While lamenting a perceived lack of investment in the arts in The Bahamas, he suggested that as a consequence Bahamians are losing national identity and morale; forgetting heritage and history; increasingly loving all things outside of themselves and that the arts are devalued as simply entertainment.

Mr. Cunningham demonstrated that music in particular is a tool of social transformation and merits investment, as it could be used to solve many of the social ills, such as crime, that were plaguing the country because music cultivates: empathy; listening; discipline; commitment; community and celebration of differences.

He proposed that the Bahamian Government and relevant stakeholders should aim to support Bahamians who engage in artistic endeavors, celebrate our artistic heritage, reconnect to the past as a source of history, pride and inspiration, create spaces for performances and connect our islands through shared artistic experiences.

He further shared his vision for culture in the country where The Bahamas was the artistic hub of the region; there was the creation of a music industry; foreign artists performed Bahamian music; Bahamian artists presented on the world stages and a foundation for arts education and research was constituted.

CAPTION

Mr. Dion Cunningham (right), currently working to become the first Bahamian Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Maryland, is pictured with His Excellency Dr. Eugene Newry, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States, at the “Young Bahamians Conversation Series” at the Embassy of The Bahamas on Friday night.



All News

VACANCY NOTICE: The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI)

VACANCY NOTICE TECHNICIAN (Local Recruitment – Bahamas) The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) an autonomous Institute funded by Member Countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) invites applications for the position of Technician located at our CARDI Bahamas Unit, North Andros, Commonwealth of the Bahamas. TECHNICIAN FUNCTION:                                                                                                              The candidate will be responsible for providing…

Consul General Meets Mexico’s Chief

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Theo Neilly, Consul General and Janine A. Gibson, Vice Consul experienced a very warm welcome by the Chief of the Consular Section of Mexico to D.C., Mr. Rafael Lavaega at the Mexican Consular Section Building.  What began as a courtesy call became an opportunity for Consul General Neilly and VC Gibson to…

Message of Condolences on Florida School Shooting Tragedy

The Bahamas has sent a Diplomatic Note to the Government of the United States, expressing solidarity at the horrendous mass shooting, which took place in the US municipality of Parkland in Broward County, FL on Wednesday evening. The United States was assured of the prayers of The Bahamas and our people for the families of…

Message from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the National Day of Grenada

On the occasion of the 44th Anniversary of Grenada’ National Day, 7th February, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Bahamas, conveys congratulations and best wishes to the government and people of Grenada on behalf of the Government and people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The National Day of Grenada commemorates its declaration of…

Message from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the National Day of New Zealand

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas conveys best wishes to the Government of New Zealand on the occasion of the 178th Anniversary of New Zealand’s National Day, 6th February 1840. The National Day of New Zealand commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, regarded as the nation’s founding…