Bajan Artist to Help Brighten Local Schools

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A student proudly displays some images created in collaboration with artist Annalee Davis to be incorporated within the murals.Two members of the family of the newly launched Barbados Entrepreneurs' Venture Capital (BEVC) Fund are aiming to harness the creative expression of primary school students and to beautify their community.The Workman's Primary School project is a beautification programme which will improve the physical environment of the St. George-based rural primary school. The project is not only concerned with beautifying the physical structures of the school but promises to inspire students, parents and teachers as well as unite the community.

Artist Annalee Davis, the founder of Manipura Inc. - a Venture Capital fund recipient - offered to join forces with the students, principal and art teacher to assist in the beautification process. "The current surroundings were designed for functionality and are more like an institution than a child-centred learning environment. I intend to help the students add colour, fun and creativity to the area by creating eight murals to be placed on exterior walls corresponding to each classroom," said Davis. "The images generated from the students in the work sessions will be incorporated within the murals to reflect their life experiences and their community," she added.

Manipura Inc. is one of the five companies that recently received funding from BEVC. The company manages two artistic brands - Annalee Davis, a contemporary body of work that looks at universal issues through a Caribbean lens, and Manipura, a commercial line that celebrates the beauty of the Caribbean.

The culmination of the Workman's Primary School project will be a short film directed by Sanna Allssopp of Studio Caribe TV (SCTV).

Studio Caribe TV, which was recently approved for Seed Capital Funding, will be a go-to source for high quality programming, featuring local and regional content that will be easily accessible via the Internet and cable television. SCTV has a strong social remit and is actively engaged in community projects around the region.

The five-minute film featuring the Workman's Project will show the collaboration between the rural government-run school, the artist and the filmmaker. The aim of the film is to bring awareness to the project. It will be displayed on Manipura Inc.'s two websites, www.manipurainc.com and www.annaleedavis.com as well as across SCTV's network.

Davis is exploring the possibility of distributing the video more widely through the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, the Barbados Government Information Service and the Barbados Ministry of Education, along with various social media platforms.

"The benefits of the beautification project go beyond physical improvement... the immediate local environment will benefit because the school is central to community life and people view the exterior surfaces of the school on a daily basis. It will not only look like a place for children to play and learn, it will enhance their self-esteem and confidence," said Davis, who hopes to gain further support for additional beautification projects throughout Barbados' 90 primary schools.

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