Honey Jam announces partnership with YWCA at recent Launch

YWCA board member, Tamita Griffith spoke about partnering with Honey Jam in outreach to young women at the recent launch of Honey Jam at Divi Southwinds, Ms Griffith was there along with new YWCA President Paige Bryan and board member Bertha Pilgrim.

In an excerpt from Tamita’s address, she said “Our affiliation with this event not only helps us to secure much needed assistance, but also to promote our association with the goal of attracting more young women. It was especially pleasing to learn that Honey Jam provides a platform for young women to gain exposure, education and networking oportunities in an effort to help them develop into successful entrepreneurs. Similary at the YWCA we seek to empower (both mentally and financially), educate, advocate and care for women and by extension the family, within our society. We are committed to changing lives and communities and this is evident in a number of our programmes through which participants can enrich their lives. These include our brekfast club, sewing project, square foot gardening, reading club and early childhood education.”

Tamita went on to encourage everyone to participate in supporting these projects either financially or through volunteerism.

Honey Jam Founder and producer Ebonnie Rowe, a former YWCA Canada Women of Distinction awardee, explained that Honey Jam Canada had a 10 year relationship with the YWCA there and so when she introduced the program to Barbados she reached out to the YWCA and is pleased to work with the organization to promote their initiatives for families, women and girls on the island.

SLAM representative and Audition Judge Caroline “Cici” Reid who hosted the November 2011 show spoke about her history with Honey Jam Barbados and its importance in terms of giving a platform for young artists and musicians…

Reid’s seen first-hand the positive contribution Honey Jam is making and encourages the hopeful auditionees to think of themselves as a business – the whole package and if chosen should take advantage of the workshop and knowledge being offered to them through the Honey Jam initiative.

“If you believe in something, go for it – support Honey Jam with whatever talents you have, volunteer your time, your services or your talents to this cause.”

Caroline also works with Avon, a company that stands for Empowering Women, and is pleased to be giving Avon gift bags to judges and audience members will have a chance to win their own Avon gift bag on the night of the showcase.

Karma Nai has participated in every Honey Jam event in Barbados, including the February 2011 showcase, all of the workshops, being featured on the compilation promotional CD, the November 2011 showcase, Honey Jam @ the Hall and Honey Jazz.

She spoke from the heart about what the experience meant to her, saying that aside from the music industry knowledge and performance opportunities, it was also a supportive sisterhood and she had learned so much and grown as an artist and as a young woman. Karma also found her manager Andrew Daniel at one of the showcases.

Another Alumni, country singer Malissa Alanna, also spoke about her experience and her journey since she performed at Honey Jam, including recording and songwriting in Nashville where she also met Dolly Parton.

The young Caribbean Country crooner emphasized how much hard work and commitment is involved and the importance of us all supporting each other, lifting each other up, celebrating all of our successes and rejecting the crabs in the barrel syndrome.

Producer Ebonnie Rowe shared with the audience that while the artists, public and media have been incredibly supportive of the initiative, it was a continual struggle to secure adequate financial support and that without that, she would be unable to continue the initiative in Barbados.

The former Ad Agency executive was hopeful that the segment of the Cultural Industries Bill which spoke about tax breaks for corporations who supported cultural initiatives would soon come to pass and that there would also be more government support in general since it has been identified as a priority to develop and grow the entertainment sector and prepare artists to have their music heard and sold internationally.

Honey Jam is very grateful for the sponsors who have come on board this year, including: Blueprint Creative, Cointreau, Coscap, Skai Multimedia, Get Bizzy Studios, Divi Southwinds, TechRoom, Sprite, Aonline and Crucial Productions.

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