Photos: Beyond The Return ‘Return Conversations’ Begin In Accra

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Professionals from Ghana’s Creative Arts Industry came in their numbers to participate in the first ‘The Return Conversations Masterclass’ virtual panel discussion. The panel featured industry pros from the U.S. who were imparting their knowledge with decades of industry experience. A Q&A session gave Ghanaian creatives the chance to share their experiences and ask questions about collaborations and real investment in the African industry.


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‘Return Conversations’ Premieres With Masterclass On Creative Arts

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ACCRA, GHANA – 25th September 2020

‘The Return Conversations,’ a pivotal part of the Beyond the Return project is set to premiere with a virtual Masterclass on 30th September 2020 at 4pm. Under the theme, ‘Black Stories Matter; Forging Collaborations for the Development of Ghana’s Creative Industry,’ the Masterclass will feature industry players from the U.S.A. and Ghana who will share information and knowledge and create opportunities to discuss collaborative efforts.

The panel will be moderated by Professor Eleanor Earl, a film and television content producer, entrepreneur, and educator and Ivy Prosper, a Media Professional and Social Media Manager with the ‘Beyond the Return‘ Secretariat.

“These conversations are relevant right now especially as the spotlight on telling stories from the Black and African perspective is increasingly important in these times. As more people from the diaspora are looking for ways to collaborate with continental Africans, having conversations like this is the first step,” said Annabelle McKenzie, Manager of the ‘Beyond the Return’ Secretariat.

The program is being coordinated by the Ghana Tourism Authority in conjunction with the Creative Arts Council and TheBridgeZone. According to Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Tourism Authority and coordinator of the Beyond the Return project, “This will be the first of a series of conversations between Ghanaians and the African diaspora on topics that came up during last year’s successful ‘Year of Return’ campaign. We are building on the success and the feedback we gathered last year”.

C.E.O. of TheBridgeZone, Anthony Bart Appiah, says, “It is important for Black people to tell their own stories. We want to help bridge the gap in creativity between Ghana and the United States.”

The program will be broadcast worldwide on social media channels for ‘Beyond the Return’, Ghana Tourism Authority, and locally on Hitz FM 103.9.

The Masterclass intends to focus on key areas in the creative industry including fashion, art, music, animation/ gaming, and film. These are all industries where Ghana’s creative arts community seeks to build and develop in ways that can help them reach audiences across Africa and beyond its borders. President of the Creative Arts Council, Mark Okraku Mantey, has helped to organize members of Ghana’s creative community to participate in this important event. Invited guests who attend in person, will participate in a live Q&A session that will take place in Ghana.

Panelists include Actor and Producer, Lamman Rucker, President of Production for the Narrative Film Group, Shelby Stone, former NBA Star and Entrepreneur, Baron Davis, Fashion Designer and Interior Design Consultant Etu Evans, Music Mogul, Film Producer and Investor, Vassal Benford III, CEO of Prolific Media Holdings LLC, R.J. Bucaria, Project Manager for Digital Entertainment and Media for the Georgia Dept. of Economic Development, Asante Bradford, Celebrity Hair Stylist, Philonese West and Award-Winning Producer, Director and Writer Chris Roland.

Ghana’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, will deliver a statement during the event. As the sector minister, her presence solidifies the importance of such an event when it comes to building Ghana’s creative industry and finding ways to collaborate with the diaspora communities who bring skills and knowledge that can be shared.

The event will be on social media channels for ‘Beyond the Return’ (@beyondthereturn) and Ghana Tourism Authority (@ghanatourismauthority) and locally on Hitz FM 103.9.

For more information on this upcoming event, contact the ‘Beyond the Return’ Secretariat office by email at

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