During the first two months of 2017, The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas welcomed its newest staff members, Malika Pryor-Martin and Katrina Cartwright. Since their arrival, they have dived into their roles of Development and Communications Officer and Education Officer respectively, and have seamlessly integrated with the existing NAGB team.
There is always lots of work to do at non-profit organizations and the NAGB is no exception. “We have already begun thinking about next year’s projects,” says Education Officer Katrina Cartwright. While she anticipates that the coming months will be productive and challenging, 2018 promises to particularly exciting and rigorous. “Work volume becomes secondary when working for an institution that puts emphasis on positive social impact.” Malika Pryor-Martin, who has taken on the new role of Communications and Development Officer, echoes these sentiments, “Serving a national institution is so much more than just a position, it is a passion. I’m not an artist, but I have a serious love for the arts.”
Malika Pryor-Martin has been shaped by the unique landscape and enduring optimism of growing up Detroit: an international city, where the world is truly small, and yet, never small minded. As a child, she was surrounded by art and spent numerous hours in galleries and museums. “It’s one of the perks of growing up in a big city,” she says. She envisions the NAGB as a space where families, couples, children…communities go to enjoy outings and activities. “As the Communications and Development Officer, it is my responsibility to see to it that the NAGB is articulating all that we offer and that we have the financial capacity, as we move into the future, to do that more and more and better. We are a great institution working towards being greater every day. If I can contribute to that worthy aim, then in however many years when my time with the Gallery is done, I think I’ll be able to say that I did my job.”
With a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School, Malika is an attorney by trade, practicing for nearly three years in the areas of entertainment and domestic law in Atlanta, GA. However, she has spent the last decade professionally engaged in the nonprofit sector as an industry consultant and administrator, including holding tenure as the Director of Education and Programs at the Charles Wright Museum of African American of History in Detroit, Michigan. As a result of her work, Malika has considerable experience in fund development, specialising in grant procurement and corporate partnership.
She is also the founder and Chief Innovation Officer at M. Nicole Unlimited, a boutique experience curation firm that produces CurlyFest Bahamas.
Katrina Cartwright is a ceramist and arts administrator who has lived and worked in Nassau for the past ten years. She left her hometown in Long Island to attend the College of The Bahamas in 1999 and later obtained a BFA in Ceramics from Maine College of Art. She is currently pursuing an MA in Arts Administration at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland and has an intended matriculation date of August 2018.
An educator and arts advocate, Katrina has assisted with various fundraising and community initiatives locally and abroad. It is her belief that education plays a vital role in the continued growth and relevance of arts institutions. She has, until recently, been affiliated with Popopstudios ICVA as both a studio artist and Education Officer, and has worked as an adjunct instructor in the Art Department at the University of The Bahamas. Katrina has also apprenticed with local and international professional ceramists, and her work can be found in several collections in The Bahamas and the United States.
Before joining the NAGB team, Katrina was employed as the Membership Officer at the Bahamas National Trust, an experience that has cultivated a greater appreciation for the importance of conservation and preservation to The Bahamas. She is a partner in the start-up nonprofit, Exnihilo Art Center, which seeks to create sustainable opportunities for, and collaborations between, artists and existing art spaces and institutes, both nationally and internationally.
“The wonderful thing about working with a young institution like the NAGB is that the potential to create new initiatives and structures is almost limitless. Education is an important component of the Gallery’s structure as it engages the community through programming and makes sure educational resources are readily available to the public. As the Education Officer, I am truly looking forward to building out the Education sector and implementing programming that will have a lifespan beyond my time at the Gallery.”
Malika and Katrina bring their passion and love for the arts to their new roles at the NAGB, and the Gallery is pleased to have them on its team.
1. Portrait of Katrina Cartwright and Malika Pryor-Martin, Education Officer and Communications and Development Officer (L-R) at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas. Image courtesy the NAGB.