Frenetic Arts began as the brainchild of actress, playwright, and theatre enthusiast Luci Hammans. Luci’s desire for catharsis and expression was nourished in Barbados by drama camps, music events, and catalyst theatre. They fell in love with spoken word during their tuition at the Birmingham School of Acting, where they were embraced by an underground, pacifist yet defiant community of change-makers — Beatfreeks.

Upon their return, fuelled by the passion and desire to be a part of the change they could feel in the Bajan air, Luci packed up the model and ethos given to them by Beatfreeks and the city of Birmingham to prototype in Barbados. The vision of the Beatfreeks Barbados project was to create a movement that supported Bajan art and culture — a space for the art community, by the art community.

In January 2016, Luci (with the help of other young artists, of course) produced

Image courtesy of beatfreeks.com

the first Poetry Lime. This open mic event, initially held the final Saturday of every month at the Morning Side Theatre of the Barbados Community College, quickly became a haven and a stomping ground for new and up-and-coming artists to share their thoughts and be heard. Poetry Lime offered community, love and creativity all at once. By October of that same year, Poetry Lime had grown so much that Luci enlisted the help of a Youth Steering Committee — a handful of regulars who shared their goal for the growing organisation.

A year and a half later, trial, error and even success became the catalysts for Beatfreeks Barbados to take its next steps. The BFB family decided that our community deserved even more — we deserve to be paid for what we do. With this in mind, Luci partnered with two members of the Youth Steering Committee, Faith-Amber Johnson and Jovana Johnson, to chart the way forward.

We recognised the need for young creatives to have a space they could feel was truly theirs as Caribbean people, which meant independence from any entity outside of the Caribbean. The dream of just one became the vision of a team, a vision to offer creative performance spaces and workshops designed to promote arts within our own cultural atmosphere. Beatfreeks Barbados became Frenetic Arts, an organisation of vibrant young creatives dedicated to the goal of elevating the status of performance poetry in Barbados.