NAGB Donation Drive

By Diana Sands.

Hurricane Dorian. The name is sure to be remembered as one of the most destructive forces of nature. The devastation left in its wake can weaken the resolve of the strongest of us. We have all seen the pictures and videos on the news and social media platforms. Abaco and Grand Bahama have been affected in ways few, if not there, can truly understand. It is because of this, the staff at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) wanted to help.

Our first day back to work after the storm was harrowing. Many team members were unable to contact family and friends who were in Abaco, Grand Bahama, or both. While no one knew what to do initially, there was one common consensus – we wanted to help. The team decided to mobilise and establish a donation drive. As the plan formalised, the NAGB officially partnered with Women United and Equality Bahamas, whose teams would volunteer to accept donations at the NAGB. Once sorted and packed, the donations would be collected by Tropix who would pass on to HeadKnowles for distribution.

Working with established organisations is truly a learning experience. There are nuances to the disaster relief response process and we will continue to learn and adapt along the way. While, the immediate focus was to donate the expected non-perishable items (like tarps, chainsaws, portable stoves, air mattresses, diapers, matches, etc.); as the days wore on, our focus shifted primarily to special items for children (teddy bears, cuddle toys, and the like). An excellent and helpful feature of the museum is our location. We are centrally located which makes it easy to serve as a drop off site. Through it all, the NAGB team remained positive, bolstered and thankful for the positive response of the public.

It is times like these, when people come together unexpectedly. Whether it is to grieve, support, take action, or seek comfort, we as human beings have a unique ability to empathise with each other. When I joined the team at the NAGB, I truly did not know what to expect. I am not an artist. I am not. Still, I find myself part of something very special. Yes, there are beautiful works of art on the walls, a classically beautiful building, an amazing amphitheatre, excellent educational programming that is generally free to the public, but that is not what defines the museum. It is the people. They care deeply about what they do and the community they do the work for.

As we emerge from the aftermath of this devastating storm, questions around climate change which results in an increase in the frequency and severity of weather around the world will be raised. In response, developing countries like The Bahamas will have to find ways to successfully combat this new reality. There are difficult conversations and decisions ahead to move the needle away from post-disaster efforts to preparation which can cause changes to our day to day life. The NAGB has long been a place of discussion and a forum to voice challenging opinions and I suspect that climate change and its effects will be a key focus at this historic, yet still relevant place in the days to come.

In conclusion, I encourage the public to visit the NAGB’s website,, for information about programming, meetings, events and exhibitions. There are many other exciting initiatives in the works as we continue to deliver on our mandate to educate, inspire and uplift those in our community; especially those affected by Hurricane Dorian.