Fresh Milk-Barbados Launches Reading Outreach Programme and the Virtual Mapping Project

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In Barbados, Fresh Milk announces the launching of two major projects—the Colleen Lewis Reading Room Outreach Programme and the Virtual Mapping Project. Both projects will be supported by the the Maria Holder Memorial Trust.

Description of the Colleen Lewis Reading Room Outreach Programme: In an effort to cultivate discussions about the arts starting at a young age while engaging with the community, Fresh Milk will implement an outreach programme using the resources available in The Colleen Lewis Reading Room (CLRR). One of the many challenges faced by young creatives is that, despite their artistic gifts, they often struggle when it comes to speaking and writing comprehensively about their work. This is a skill that would benefit immensely from reading, whether specifically arts oriented texts or well written fiction; gaining an appreciation for articulate material is imperative to mastering one’s own practice.

Fresh Milk proposes to be the go-to point for refining these skills, beginning at CSEC level when children are expected to take their research and written abilities to a higher standard, all the way up to providing MA or PhD candidates with a deep pool of knowledge and unique material which they can draw upon. The Fresh Milk team will work with secondary school teachers in this area to construct a programme which will bring the students to Fresh Milk to show them the studio and reading room, letting them know that there is an environment available which can cater to their academic and creative needs.

Description of the Virtual Mapping Project: The Virtual Mapping Project addresses the lack of available information about Caribbean arts at the formal, informal and educational levels. Fresh Milk sees value in developing a freely accessible, interactive online map of the Caribbean, which will clearly delineate the existing spaces for the arts in the region, from the nineteenth century up to the present time.

The region will be mapped to show all arts entities, listed with links to the websites of all the spaces, and maintained to keep all information current. This map will not only be a pivotal information hub and educational tool, but a place to form new bonds and to make connections among practitioners, not only in the Caribbean but worldwide.

The Fresh Milk mapping project will be an invaluable resource for students at secondary and tertiary institutions in Barbados, including those studying art at CXC CSEC and CAPE level, BCC Art Associate Degree and BFA programmes, and participants in the BA and MA Cultural Studies and Creative Arts degrees at the EBCCI, UWI Cave Hill Campus. This wealth of knowledge compiled into one easily accessible website means that students can have both historical and current data about Caribbean art at their fingertips, broadening their understanding and keeping up to date with the new, cutting edge work coming out of the region.

Additionally, the Virtual Map will create opportunities for artists working in the region today and circulate their works and ideas to a global audience eager to know more about the region’s creative arena. [. . .] Fresh Milk seeks to create a more integrated and connected region by using the arts as a vehicle to create partnerships and build community. Many Caribbean islands have no idea what is happening with their neighbours in the creative arts, which hinders our overall growth in the region. The Virtual Map will promote unity and aid in the building of support systems – whether it be the English, Spanish, French or Dutch speaking Caribbean, we would like to make sure all information is communicated as efficiently as possible, and invite the world to see what is being made and to see the region as a critical space.

For more information, please, email Annalee Davis or Katherine Kennedy at freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com.

To keep up to date with their other activities, visit http://www.freshmilkbarbados.com

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