The heart of art: Manuel Palacio, far right, at the opening of B-Side Art Gallery. *Photo supplied
The heart of art: Manuel Palacio, far right, at the opening of B-Side Art Gallery. *Photo supplied

FRIDAY, OCT. 5: EEZy Does It! is a monthly column presented by the BEDC’s Economic Empowerment Zones Agency (EEZA). Every month, read about entrepreneurship and business opportunities, obtain business management tips, and find out what’s going on in the EEZ business sector.


 

One of the core components of the Economic Empowerment Zones Agency (EEZA) is physical revitalization of the North East Hamilton Community.

North East Hamilton was the first EEZ, receiving its designation in 2007.  For the last four years we have helped our business owners and residents work towards achieving their goal of enhanced beautification in such a culturally rich community.

When thinking about the history of North East Hamilton over the past 100 years — music, culture, vibrancy, and now art are the words that come to mind.  The NE Hamilton community has an energy that fills the soul when you walk along Court Street shopping in our retail stores or sampling the great culinary dishes at any of our historic restaurants.  These sentiments have been communicated in art form by local artists who have had their works on display all summer at the B-Side Art Gallery, located at #43 Angle Street (Tyrell’s Building).

The opening of the B-Side Gallery marked a significant achievement for the North East Hamilton Economic Empowerment Zone. 

This comprehensive art exhibition lasted until the end of September 2012 and featured the works of Manuel Palacio and numerous other local artists including Gavin Smith, Antoine Hunt, Calix Smith, Ami Zanders, and Manuel Palacio.

Art provides much more than pictures on a wall. 

Creative

The exhibition showcased an interconnection of Bermuda communities and the spirit that encapsulates North East Hamilton. Participation in the B-Side Gallery was congruent with the EEZA’s Community Development outreach which provides an opportunity for creative ideas and revitalization of the community at large. 

Research has shown that Art can help entrepreneurs build market share and enhance their brand, and creativity is one of the top skills that employers desire.  The opportunity to be a part of bringing an art gallery to NE Hamilton was ground-breaking and the EEZA team leapt at the chance to assist.  Artist, Manuel Palacio approached the EEZA with the idea and we are pleased to have been a part of making the dream a reality.

Through exhibitions, performances and workshops, the arts provide opportunities for people to grapple with community concerns and become more familiar with their neighbours next door, in the next parish, at the ends of the island, or around the world. In addition, the new gallery provided activity, attracted new visitors, and engaged the community in sharing the benefits of Arts and Culture.

Working with our stakeholders allows us to stay focused on our primary goal of empowerment with the ultimate goal of making the North East Hamilton EEZ a vibrant place to live, work and play. This successful Art Gallery was an initial step towards achieving that goal. 

The EEZA will continue to encourage and support community development through the arts.  In addition to supporting N.E. Hamilton, the EEZA will also seek to support the development of art and culture in the other EEZs across the Island.  The EEZA will be supporting the upcoming Art Walk in the East which will be held in the St George’s Economic Empowerment Zone on October 20, 2012 and the upcoming Zombie Walk which will be held in the Somerset Economic Empowerment Zone on October 27.

At the EEZA, we are available to assist you with navigating the process of starting and running a business in an EEZ and to provide business advice that will support you in achieving your business and financial goals.

Roxanne Christopher is the Economic Development Officer for the North East Hamilton EEZ.  For additional information please contact rchristopher@bsbdc.bm or call 292-5570. 

In addition, visit www.bedc.bm for more information on the range of services available to all businesses within the North East Hamilton EEZ.