ArtsEtc marks the fifth anniversary of its annual Green Readings Saturday, June 9, with an extra special event that sees the official launch of its environmental anthology and a programme packed with open-air readings and music.
The publication, entitled Green Readings: Barbados, The First Five Years [2008-2012], is essentially a guide to the sessions that began back in 2008 at the Cloister Bookstore when the Ministry of the Environment first approached ArtsEtc to stage an event to help raise environmental awareness in an alternative way.
Over 24 literary and other artists have taken part in the annual event since—and the resulting anthology records their performances and green contributions. Some of those artists will be on the Boardwalk in Hastings on Saturday, together with officials from the Ministry of the Environment for the launch of the book.
The ceremony starts at 3:30 p.m. and will be followed by the first Green Reading for 2012. This will feature poet Dana Gilkes, fiction writer Arnold Ward, and former broadcaster Ian Bourne, who will be reading in tribute to his mother, late art critic, poet and journalist Carolle Bourne.
Then, on June 23 at Folkestone Park and Marine Reserve in Holetown, St James, the second Green Reading takes place with a varied bill of visual and spoken word artists, musicians and award-winning writers. These will include Norma Meek, Sheena Rose, Keoma Mallett, and Indrani. There will be performances as usual by a school choir, while poet and novelist Nailah Folami Imoja is MC for both sessions.
ArtsEtc’s founding editors and producers of the event, Linda M. Deane and Robert Edison Sandiford, are encouraged by the direction Green Readings has taken.
“We are increasingly seeing a marriage of artists from different genres on the Green Readings’ platform,” says Deane. “We strongly believe that the arts and artists should be utilized more in getting certain ideas across to the public, and every year we enjoy seeing how the artists we invite complement each other and the exciting ways in which they interpret the various environmental themes. GR12 should be no different.”
The theme for Green Readings 2012 is heritage. This is the theme for the whole of Environment Month, of which the readings are part, and is in keeping with the current activities for the inscription of Historic Bridgetown and her Garrison, also taking place in June.
Sandiford praised the Ministry of the Environment, particularly officers Donna King-Brathwaite and Travis Sinckler, for their continued commitment to working with Barbadian artists.
“Not only is this ArtsEtc’s fifth year straight working with the ministry on Green Readings, the collaboration has led to the production of a stylish 48-page anthology.
“This is a prime example of private/public sector partnering,” he said, “and of the cultural industries in action; of artists being acknowledged and rewarded for their creativity and productivity.”
Green Readings: Barbados, The First Five Years [2008-2012] was designed, produced and printed in Barbados, and is the latest anthology from ArtsEtc under its AE Books imprint. Copies are available from the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage.