Ann Rhea-Smith – First Ever Sesame Flyers International's Community Bridge Builder Awardee

Ann Rhea-Smith received an honor from the Sesame Flyers International, Inc.’s Third Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala last Friday, May 4th at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Ann Rhea has been awarded with the first ever Community Bridge Builder Award for her demonstrated ability to manifest her personal and professional vision into the world.

Over the last 14 years, Rhea Smith has worked with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts and others in varied capacities. As a Publicist, she has worked with artists/companies and talent booking agencies like, Arturo O’Farrell, The Mighty Sparrow, David Rudder, Freddie McGregor, Luciano, dancehall legend – King Yellowman, Freddie Jackson, Bill Cosby, Isaac Hayes, Savion Glover, Gregory Hinds, Ben Vereen, Ky-mani Marley (Dear Dad book signing, Love Over All Foundation and Museum literacy program reading) , Le Ballet National du Senegal, St. Petersburg Ballet, Dance Cuba, Tango Flamenco, the Brad Simon and William Morris agencies.

Her consulting includes work with the Caribbean Cultural Center of New York, West Indian American Day Carnival Association NY (WIADCA), NYC Administration for Children’s Services, former NYC Council Member – Honorable Dr. Una Clarke, U.S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, NY State Senator Kevin Parker and NY State Assemblyman N. Nick Perry.

Utilizing her talents to pursue her passion of showcasing the Caribbean and its rich heritage, Ms. Smith founded the United Islands of the Caribbean (1996), an organization responsible for the planning, coordination and presentation of Virginia’s first Caribbean Carnival in Richmond. Her carnival costume debut came after a successful venture with Baje Internationals’ 2003 presentation of Love Birds for Barbados’ Annual Cropover Festival. As a result, Ms. Smith promoted Poison’s (one of Trinidad’s largest and most popular carnival bands) presentation of the costume Nemesis and Magico Mundo for Trinidad Carnival 2005-2006.

Currently, Ms. Smith is the Publicist for the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (designed by world-class architect, Rafael Viňoly and world’s first children’s Museum); Founder/CEO of FUNSATION4 Media – a Special Events/Media Management and Production company founded under the mission of producing uniquely themed cultural, socially driven and quality entertainment events/projects, a shareholder of PULSE8 carnival band (Trinidad) and the publicist for Grammy nominated recording Reggae artist – Freddie McGregor O.D. & Big Ship Music Inc.

Ms. Smith has also co-produced the U.S. Virgin Islands Inaugural Ball (January 2009 U.S. Presidential Inauguration) featuring Queen of Reggae – Marcia Griffiths, Cocoa Tea and Tabou Combo at the only inaugural ball representing Washington’s Caribbean Diaspora and the historical NY debut of Reggae in Symphony (October 2007) featuring Reggae legends John Holt and Freddie McGregor accompanied by the Reggae Symphony Orchestra. Other collaborative events include: Caribbean Tales – New York Film Showcase, Caribbean Cultural Theater, Brooklyn’s Best Jumpin’ JazzFest, Brooklyn Children’s Museum Kiddies Carnival Jump Up and the New York Stock Exchange (rang opening bell with BCM February 2011).

Recently, Ms. Smith joined forces with Lonai Mosley (Dahya Pix) to co-produce, direct and develop: One Family – a reality based, television, cultural, docu-trip, narrated by 43-year Reggae music veteran, Freddie McGregor O.D. and friends, highlighting the differences and similarities in traditions, culture, music styles and influences between Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago in an effort to educate, identify and unify; and Bridging the Gap Caribbean Youth Initiative – developed to “bridge the gap” between international companies based in the Caribbean and non-profit organizations (that service youth) by funding, supporting and strengthening programs and outreach throughout the Caribbean (ex: Cyril Ross Nursery- Tunapuna Trinidad & Love Over All Foundation Jamaica).

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