To support local artists, artisans and entrepreneurs, the Anguilla United Relief Fund (AURF) has committed to fund the creation of the West End Anguillan Made Arts & Craft Center. Through this commitment, AURF aims to support local artisans, the entrepreneurial creative industry, and tourism at large, while providing space to promote, preserve, and grow Anguillan culture.
The West End Anguillan Made Arts & Craft Center will serve as a studio and showcase space for local artists in Anguilla, to support art making and artisan entrepreneurial activity on the island and give artists and artisans a place to create, show, and sell their work. The space will also offer an opportunity train and expose youth to creating authentic Anguillan art.
An old structure of the West End Primary School will be renovated to create the Arts Center. The space will be 40ft x 30ft and provide space for up to five artists at a time to display their work. The construction will begin in January 2019 and be completed by March 2019. Once the building is completed, The Ministry of Tourism along with The Arts & Craft Foundation will be responsible for operations and maintenance of the building. The Center is located in close proximity to major hotels on island and is, therefore, easily accessible to tourists visiting the island.
January 2019 – Select contractor and begin construction.
March 2019 – Complete construction and open center.
The Ministry of Tourism along with The Arts & Craft Foundation will be responsible for operations and maintenance of the building.
On Wednesday, September 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane, struck Anguilla. The island was severely impacted, 90% of the island’s electrical infrastructure and water supply was affected, and many buildings across the island were damaged, from private homes to vacation rentals to institutional structures, such as the schools and hospitals on island. Despite the devastation, Anguilla made many significant strides in recovery immediately after the storm. Within days of the storm, roads were clear and the airport was open for humanitarian flights. Within one month, all of Anguilla’s schools re-opened, the airport was certified for commercial flights, and ferry services were restored. Within 100 days, electricity, mobile phone, and internet service was restored to 100% of the island.
The island, however, is still working recover, restore, and build upon one of its most critical industries – tourism. According to the World Travel and Tourism Commission (WTTC), in 2016 travel and tourism accounted for over 60% of Anguilla’s GDP. Because of the hurricane, Anguilla lost 51% of its hotel rooms and approximately 4.2M in GDP due to the tourism industry.
By the end of 2018, most major hotels had reopened and were ready to welcome visitors. However, in addition to extensive physical rebuilding that was necessitated in the wake of the hurricane, the need to restore and rebuild travelers’ confidence in and desire to visit Anguilla is ongoing. As a means to support tourism and the local economy, there is a newfound focus on local artists, artisans, and entrepreneurs on island. One could support culture on Anguilla and create an exciting cultural offering for visitors as a means to support and promote tourism and the larger economy.
The Anguilla United Relief Fund is open to partnerships to amplify our various support and initiatives in Anguilla as they relate to the building and operating of the West End Anguillian Made Arts & Craft Center, emergency response on island, and support for the Department of Education’s need for temporary expansion while new schools are constructed in Anguilla.
In support of this commitment AURF is seeking connections with media, in kind donation of supplies and funding support for maintenance.
The Anguilla United Relief Fund was founded by a real estate investor and developer. As such, the AURF can offer consultation and professional advice as it relates to investment and development. AURF management is familiar with building/ renovating on island, hospitality operations, and the tourism experience.