NASSAU, BAHAMAS — US Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts and University of The Bahamas (UB) President Dr Rodney D Smith have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) renewing the American Corner at UB’s Oakes Field Campus on New Windfall, The Bahamas.
The MoU signing ceremony, held on December 8, celebrates a renewal of the partnership between the embassy and UB, and followed extensive renovations to the space accomplished throughout the COVID-19 pandemic when in-person programming couldn’t occur.
Situated on the primary floor of the Harry C Moore Library and Information Centre, the American Corner will likely be open and available to most people at the least 20 hours per week.
Comprised of two separate spaces, the American Corner encompasses a state-of-the-art smart board, flexible and modular furniture, web connectivity and a big open space for events, with the requisite physical distance. The space serves as a super venue for workshops, presentations and sessions on entrepreneurship, art, design, photography, social issues and more.
Pitts spoke fondly of her experiences with libraries growing up in Massachusetts and said she was excited to be in an area where information is exchanged.
“Here we now have a contemporary, advanced version of a library since it includes all of the digital tools and technology tools which can be now available to enhance that exchange of knowledge that basically is the bedrock to any democracy,” she said.
Smith noted that the American Corner has been a functional and much-needed resource.
University of The Bahamas (UB) President Dr Rodney D Smith (center) delivers remarks prior to the signing of a memorandum of understanding to renew the American Corner at Harry C Moore Library and Information Centre as, from left, UB Vice President Dr Maria Oriakhi, US Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts and US Public Affairs Officer Daniel Durazo look on, Wednesday, December 8, 2021. (US EMBASSY NASSAU)
“Renewing this memorandum of understanding speaks not only to the continuation of the space, but in addition to the partnership and friendship that the university shares with the US Embassy,” he said.
“It also speaks volumes in regards to the embassy’s and American government’s commitment to community development and support where they’ve a presence.”
The American Corner is a partnership between the US Embassy and UB and is an element of the US Department of State’s global American Spaces Program. American Spaces aim to supply people all over the world with accurate, compelling, timely and audience-appropriate information in regards to the United States and its history, culture, society and values.
With greater than 650 locations worldwide, American Spaces also foster people-to-people connections, increase understanding and construct respect with host country audiences through cultural programs.
The American Corner at UB was established in 2013. Before Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic, the embassy and UB worked together on quite a few programs, including sessions featuring information on america, entrepreneurship, roundtables, STEAM Programs, film screenings and public discussions.
Before the MoU signing, Pitts also paid an official courtesy call on Smith. They discussed the numerous areas of collaboration between america and UB, including support for education, art and culture in The Bahamas.
The embassy said it looks forward to a plethora of events at UB as COVID-19 restrictions allow, and can plan a sturdy virtual schedule because it continues to deal with the pandemic.