“Culture should be more than just an event to showcase the creation of the artisans and the bandleaders.”
Boston is a melting pot of many people from different cultural backgrounds. Michael, a Boston event planner, attempts to promote cultural diversity in Boston through his career. Check out his story.
Can you tell me about your background?
My coming to Boston is not as elegant as most; one could say I got here by accident. I migrated to the USA from Trinidad & Tobago via the USVI. From there I moved to New York with my uncle, who was then transferred from Kennedy Airport to Logan. We arrived here in 1977.
Since that time I have gone to college, graduated from Northeastern University in 1983 with a BSEE degree, and have been working in the electronics industry since that time.
My involvement in the Caribbean American Carnival came about when a friend invited me to join the organization. Over the years, I have helped with the annual planning of the events. However, after about 10 years the time came when I had to move on.
Can you share an unforgettable story happened during Boston Carnival Festivals?
[I’m] not sure I have an unforgettable story but I am always surprised by the creative skills of the band leader. Their use of the basic elements of color, feathers, wire bending skills and use of other materials anther creative skills continue to amaze me every year.
When and why did you found the Boston Carnival Village? Any story behind it?
Boston Carnival Village came about after my association with the Boston Trinidad Style Carnival organizing committee, CACAB, ended. Boston Carnival Village’s goals are; to promote Boston’s Trinidad Style Carnival, and help in driving sponsors to the bandleaders, a function which has been missing for over 40 years. Today Boston Carnival Village is where the world goes to connect with Boston’s Trinidad Style Carnival. I am now putting a team together for the purpose of launching a Carnival Village to promote the Culture to Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. The Carnival Village will run for a week and feature several cultural events –dance, music, skits, seminars on costume making, as well as the Steelpan, which originated in Trinidad & Tobago.
Do you have any story funny, touching, or important to you that you’d like to share with us?
I want Boston’s Trinidad Style Carnival to be the best Carnival in North America, while it engages the community. I think that this think about culture should be more than just an event to showcase the creation of the artisans and the bandleaders. I strongly believe it could be used to teach others, especially the children, about the culture of Trinidad and the Caribbean.
What are your passions in life?
I am very passionate about several things. Among them are: Photography, Jazz and the Steelpan. I have had a successful exhibition, “Streets of Color,” and I am currently getting ready to do another entitled, “Do You See What I See,” an all Black & White exhibition featuring images from around New England.