On Saturday, April 20, 2024, Nassau Cruise Port (NCP) partnered with The Current: Baha Mar Gallery & Art Center (The Current Gallery) to host a special art workshop for autistic children in celebration of Autism Awareness Month. Twenty children from the R.E.A.C.H. Bahamas (Resource, Education, Advocacy & Community Help) community participated in a Botanical Leaf Printing class for an afternoon of creativity and fun at the Gallery & Wine Bar at Nassau Cruise Port.

A team of artists from The Current: Baha Mar Gallery & Art Center including Jordanna Kelly, Assistant Director of Art Curation; Averia Wright, Curatorial Manager; and Shanise Poitier, Programming and Studio Coordinator, provided leaves from seagrape, cocoplum, and other indigenous trees and donated the art supplies used to complete the printing process. The children, guided by parents, aides, and The Current Gallery facilitators, enthusiastically explored their artistic talents by creating unique prints using the leaves and paint. Cruise passengers of all ages also joined in the fun.

“We are incredibly proud to have hosted this unique event for autistic children in our community and their families,” said Maya Nottage, Regional Marketing Director at Nassau Cruise Port. “Many families with members on the autism spectrum often feel like they aren’t welcome in most places. We wanted to create an interactive experience exclusively for this group of kids. The Botanical Leaf Printing class offered a new and exciting way for the kids and their families to express themselves and do something together. We received great feedback from everyone involved and plan to host many more similar events here at Nassau Cruise Port.”

Nottage continued, “We wish to especially thank Jordanna, Averia, and Shanise from The Current: Baha Mar Gallery & Art Center for their co-sponsorship and instruction; Dwayne Gibson and the R.E.A.C.H. team for helping us connect with the children and their families; and Antonius Roberts and Alexandria Robinson of the Gallery & Wine Bar for bringing everyone together in the spirit of community.  We all belong here at Nassau Cruise Port, and our community outreach activities will continue to reflect our belief in the importance of inclusion as we create an even stronger sense of place here.”

Dwayne Gibson, Chairman of R.E.A.C.H., thanked the organizers on behalf of the R.E.A.C.H. board and community. “I want to thank Nassau Cruise Port, the Art Gallery at Baha Mar, and the Gallery & Wine Bar teams for putting this class together. The class was full, the children were happy, and we have not had this kind of opportunity where an educational art class was created for our children in the past. Our families, parents, and caregivers were so incredibly pleased. Many of the parents have said that they will turn the art that their children created into a keepsake, and they are looking forward to another chance to participate in this kind of event. We did not know what to expect but the feedback has been tremendous, and we look forward to another journey in art in this way in the future.”

Nassau Cruise Port is committed to empowering future generations of Bahamians by serving and strengthening our community through youth, education, sports, and sustainability programs.


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