The Black Artists Network of Nova Scotia (BANNS) is a professional artist association that seeks to develop African-Nova Scotian professional artists, promote excellence in their art practice and increase the representation of these artists in the province’s (and Canada’s) mainstream public arts and cultural institutions, programming and collections. BANNS organizes a variety of activities including art and quilt exhibitions, arts workshops, community festivals, art and literary publications etc. The organization is known for its pioneering exhibitions exploring African Nova Scotian art and quilts including: In This Place: 100 Years of African Nova Scotian Art – the first collective exhibition of African Nova Scotian art (Anna Leonowens Gallery 1998).
It also includes When Black Women Useta Fly – the first collective exhibition of African Nova Scotian quilts (Dartmouth heritage museum 2002). BANNS also organizes arts based cultural festivals such as The Preston Cultural Festival (2001-2004) and Africville House– a multi-disciplinary presentation of the culture and history of Africville (Seaview Park, Halifax 2008). BANNS also serves as an umbrella organization bringing together artists and organizations for projects that explore African Canadian art and culture from across Nova Scotia. Organizations with which BANNS has partnered in the past include Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Black Cultural Centre, Black History Month Association, Canada Council, National Film Board etc.
To foster the development of Black Arts community in Nova Scotia.
To create opportunities for Black artists/performers to share, develop and expose their work.
Articulate Black Arts perspective regarding issues that affect Black communities in Nova Scotia.
To promote professionalism and excellence among Black artistic creators
- A General Membership
- An Executive
- Standing Committees
Currently BANNS maintains a volunteer Artistic Director and a part-time administrator. BANNS previously maintained 2 full time staff, an office and a gallery/art space (2000-2005)
BANNS’ office and operational infrastructure is centred in Halifax, however, BANNS’ membership comes from communities across the province.
Role of Organization
BANNS is the primary organization presenting works by African Nova Scotian creators, and connecting these artists to local, provincial, regional and national arts initiatives.
BANNS is connected to a network of art galleries and heritage organizations across the province of Nova Scotia that regularly book and engage works created by BANNS. The network also maintains a website.
Policy Regarding Artist Fees
BANNS is committed to paying standard artist fees to participants in activities (curators, artists, coordinators, writers, performers etc.). Fees based on CARFAC, Equity, ACTRA recommended rates.