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Atlantis, Paradise Island Forms Shared Mission Coalition to Nurture a Bahamian Cultural and Entrepreneurial Renaissance

May 10, 2017 Resort News No Comments Email Email

Atlantis, Paradise Island Bahamas announces a first-of-its-kind shared mission coalition to nurture the Bahamian creative and entrepreneurial community. The resort has partnered with shared mission creative agency, enso, to develop an impact platform for the people and culture of The Bahamas. Kicking off a commitment to storytelling, preserving the oral and visual history of the country and creating a platform for Bahamian makers to share their works with the world, “Come to Life”, is the shared mission storytelling platform and the first dispatch of the cultural movement, launches today.

“The world has changed since Atlantis first opened. Businesses must now partner with their communities to achieve shared sustainable success,” notes Howard C. Karawan, President and Managing Director of Atlantis. “We needed to bring the soul and richness of our location and our people to the forefront. It already existed at Atlantis – in our connection to the ocean, the marine life and most importantly, embedded in each of our 7,500 associates. The stories were here, waiting to be told. We always knew Atlantis was in The Bahamas, but what we forgot is that The Bahamas is in Atlantis. By encouraging our team to share their stories and let their personalities shine, we have seen inspirational moments between the Bahamian spirit and our guests. In doing so we are imbuing our people, and Bahamians in general, with a sense of pride and empowerment.”

“Come to Life” is a visual journey that provides an intimate peek into the spirit of the Bahamas through the soul of 15 Bahamian artists, musicians and designers. The initial creative component is a :60 second, anthemic cinematic expression film featuring a voiceover by Jeffrey Poitier, a native Bahamian actor, film director and nephew of legendary Bahamian icon Sidney Poitier. The longer form film will be released later this month.

As a mission-based creative agency, enso believes the future of marketing is people and brands with shared values working together to drive business success with positive impact. “enso’s mission is impact as scale,” said Kirk Souder, Co-Founder of enso. “And from my first talks with Howard Karawan over seven months ago about the potential for Atlantis to be a positive impact platform for the people of the Bahamas, we knew this was the opportunity of a lifetime. We’re honored to help bring this vision to life and keep growing it from there.”


Atlantis is turning its own marketing into a storytelling opportunity to celebrate Bahamian #artists and groups – from #photographers to #musicians and artists – who represent the talented community of their native land. The movement focuses on co-creation with these artisans, in order to provide them with a platform for global recognition and success. These include: T!CA HOL!DAY, a 23-year old soulful R&B singer songwriter who originates from Andros Island, Bahamas; Bahamian visual artists and painters Piaget Moss, Pam Burnside, Allan Wallace and Steffon Grant, who explore ideas of personal identity and human emotion; Antonius Roberts, one of The Bahamas’ most prominent artists and sculptors; photographer and artist Dede Brown; photographer Farreno Ferguson; creator Cherell Williamson; models Latesia Smith, Sacha Kalis and Jessica Thompson; Atlantis employees Ordain Moss (Human Resources) and Ryan Dean (Dolphin Cay Behaviorist); and the music of the Roots Junkanoo Group and Bahamian Voices.

“The cultural and ecological gems within The Bahamas and at Atlantis have long been hidden from the world,” according to Lauren Snyder, Chief Marketing Officer for Atlantis, Paradise Island. “Marketing is a craft and on this project we explored the concept of authenticity. It was most important to simply let the story unfold, evolve and live. This film and the accompanying images are a platform to nurture a Bahamian renaissance. The sounds. The smiles. The voices. The land and the sea. All speak to life and the magnificence of the experience here.” She added, “Atlantis has long been the home of many magical voices, stories and memories. Through this shared mission creative studio, comprised of so many talented visionaries, we have simply turned the camera around.”


At the helm of the film production, Director – Variable x Per-Hampus Stalhandske, music producer – Sam Spiegel, and Creative Stylist Director – Ron Hansford tapped local and intriguing personalities to feature their inspiring stories. The film will immerse audiences into the fascinating Bahamian culture filled with vivid and inviting cinematography that taps into local creativity and a soulful spirit.

“When I first heard about this project, I had no idea either about Atlantis or The Bahamas,” said Per-Hampus Stalhandske. “I knew it was white sand and blue water but that was about it. I was really excited when I started digging into it and learning more about Atlantis and learning more about the country and then coming here – it kind of changed everything – when you get to meet all these people, see all the places and really dive into the culture. It was very eye opening, it really changed my perspective. This was the project I have been waiting all my life to create.”

The music in the film, produced by Sam Spiegel, showcases local musicians from the Roots Junkanoo Group and Bahamian Voices. The Roots Junkanoo Group was born more than 25 years ago out of the collective vision of a group of young Junkanoo visionaries. Their goal was to have a true voice in the leadership and direction of the group as well as nurturing Junkanoo talent. Bahamian Voices was formed to preserve the musical heritage of The Bahamas and display their love for their country through song and dance. The local group is comprised of male and female vocalists who are alumni of The Bahamas National Youth Choir.

“This music quickly became a whole track that I’m getting ready to release for the summer,” said Sam Spiegel. “It is really a tribute to The Bahamas and a tribute to Junkanoo music. I explore a culture through its music. When I discovered this unique genre of music (Junkanoo), I quickly found out it is very rich in tradition and culture. Right when we first started writing, I wanted to honor and celebrate the people and culture of The Bahamas and was inspired by T!CA as a Bahamian woman. I wanted to draw on her love for her country and Junkanoo as it is really about coming together. The song is a love letter to The Bahamas.”

“I worked at Atlantis a few years ago and to actually come back and be the voice of this movement is amazing – to see how you can go from being someone in the background to being in front of something so magical is something I never imagined,” said T!CA HOL!DAY. “There have never been ‘Bahamian Creatives’ – where their people support and make a conscious effort to actually listen to the work. This opportunity is good for me not only as a Bahamian, but as a Bahamian Woman, to show other woman all over this country that we are being acknowledged.”


The creative studio was co-designed by Atlantis and enso to align several content collaborators toward the new shared mission established by Atlantis – from the artisans and music to the behind-the-scenes footage and new brand architecture. The shared mission creative studio includes Magpie Studio, a design studio in London, Horizon Media in New York, Overabove, an editorial marketing agency in Connecticut and Rokkan in New York, an integrated agency helping to redesign Other partners in furthering the mission include ABC-TV, key market ABC Owned & Affiliate TV Stations, and iHeartMedia. More partners will be announced throughout the year.

Protecting and restoring the surrounding ecology is a critical goal of the “Come to Life” mission. The Disney Conservation Fund (DCF), a program of ABC’s parent company Disney, has been supporting conservation programs in more than 115 countries over the past two decades, including efforts to reverse the decline of wildlife such as sea turtles, sharks and coral reefs. Atlantis’ non-profit organization, Atlantis Blue Project Foundation’s (ABPF), also works to support environmental organizations helping to ensure a future for marine life in The Bahamas. Both programs share a commitment to protecting and restoring coral reefs around The Bahamas, advancing conservation efforts for marine animals and their habitats, and engaging communities to take action for the ocean. It is a natural connection for ABC and Atlantis to work together to use storytelling to engage and inspire audiences.

“We’re looking forward to taking our ABC viewers on an immersive journey, sharing these stories across Good Morning America and our ABC Owned TV Stations, inspiring others to experience these amazing natural wonders like never before”, said Jeremiah Tachna, Senior Vice-President, ABC Full Circle.

Alongside ABC, iHeartMedia and Horizon Media have committed their own platforms and efforts to give the film and messages the greatest spotlight. iHeartMedia will exclusively power music and sound that will be heard onsite throughout Atlantis and will also launch a dedicated channel, “Atlantis Radio,” available nationally on iHeartRadio. The channel will feature artists from around The Bahamas as well as the sounds captured from the ocean, the marine life and the marine biologists who make up the on island team. The curated music experience at the property will be driven through iHeartMedia’s expert audio programmers, who will capture the mood, time of day and energy of the experience at Atlantis.

“We are excited to weave the power of sound throughout the Atlantis experience, to inspire travelers on air and on-site,” said Gayle Troberman, Chief Marketing Officer of iHeartMedia. “This is a first for both iHeartMedia and Atlantis and together we will co-create the musical moments that help to make vacation memories – from the best digital beats, to the most mind-blowing live performances. Atlantis vacationers will be able to enjoy these one-of-a-kind music experiences that bring together the power of radio with the magic of the Bahamian culture to move you from one amazing moment to the next.”

iHeartMedia and Atlantis have also developed a national, multiplatform, 360-degree sound experience which will be brought to life to millions of listeners across the United States through top, on-air, nationally-syndicated personalities Ryan Seacrest and Elvis Duran.

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