University of The Bahamas (UB) and the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) have solidified an agreement that will facilitate academic and cultural interchange in arts education, research and collaboration, thereby strengthening the relationship between the two national institutions.
UB President Dr. Rodney D. Smith and NAGB Director Amanda Coulson recently signed both an MOU (memorandum of understanding) and an agreement to achieve these goals. The MOU provides for collaboration on curriculum development; joint research activities and workshops; faculty and student exchanges for cultural enrichment, studies, internships and teaching; and cooperating on the production of exhibitions, shows and instructional materials. Further, the agreement paves the way for collaboration in the development and delivery of programs, activities and events mutually beneficial to the advancement of their respective missions.
According to Smith, the two institutions are partners.
“It is a natural symbiotic relationship between the two organizations to extend use of our limited resources in the country and at the same time create even more,” said Smith. “The NAGB is really our partner and we will begin to share in many ways, for instance exploring opportunities for students to earn credits and taking advantage of the many grant opportunities that are available for the arts.”
UB Provost Dr. Linda Davis said UB and the NAGB have been working together all along. In fact, the university holds a seat on the NAGB’s board of directors.
“We are excited by the prospects,” noted Davis. “We are thrilled to be finally signing this today. We have an agreement that really will facilitate some strategic initiatives in conjunction with the [National] Art Gallery of The Bahamas.”
Students and faculty have been helping the NAGB to fulfill its mission in a myriad of ways over the years. For that, Coulson expressed gratitude.
“We are looking forward to [a] closer relationship,” said Coulson. “It can enhance what is already happening here by adding arts to some of the programs or looking at history, sociology through an art historical lens. It can really create a fuller and boarder offering.”
Art Curator and Artist-in-Residence at UB Antonius Roberts, OBE, is looking forward to the further benefits that UB students will derive.
“It provides us with the opportunity to establish a way for students to receive credit for their efforts, so that when we begin to expand our programs we can start talking about Art Management and at UB establish or activate the spaces where exhibitions could be mounted,” he said. “There are amazing opportunities, so we look forward to that.”
Since its inception as The College of The Bahamas (COB), UB has been building its arts curriculum and developing the talents of young, enthusiastic artists, many of whom are internationally respected. Strengthening ties with partners like the NAGB will help to bolster the visual arts curriculum and expand the institution‘s outreach in the community.