Abeng Arts held its first public event in South Florida in the Spring of 2009. During my first Trinidad carnival ever, I had the pleasure of meeting Geoffrey Dunn and Michael Horne who were staying at the same home of endeared Pan Man Clyde George and his lovely wife and Cathy, Directors of the Diego Martin Pan Institute. As stalwarts of the culture both in Trinidad and Chicago, Dunn had easy access to the Pan Yards, Calypso Tents, Calypsonians, and access to the culture he might not have had without the Georges’ on his team. Needless to say, we all had a ‘time’ in Trinidad that year for carnival and all returned to our respective North American lives shortly thereafter.
Fast forward to the year 2008 and I hear about a screening of the film Calypso Dreams at York University in Toronto in association with Scotiabank and the annual Caribana Festival. I immediately get on the horn to Cathy imploring her to give me the status update: Where is Dunn, when was the film completed, etc…Soon thereafter I spoke to Dunn and began discussions of bringing the film’s first U.S. screening to the South Florida community. In collaboration with the Latin American and Caribbean Center at Florida International University, University of Miami’s Center for Latin American Studies, and the Office of the Consul General of Trinidad and Tobago in Miami, we brought not only Geoffrey Dunn (the filmmaker) from Northern California to present his work, but also arranged to have Lord Superior and his partner Lady Sophie join in the discussions/presentations from Trinidad. If that weren’t enough, Executive Producer and music industry guru Alvin Daniell joined us as well.
For more footage on what went down, go here.
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