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Student Spotlight: from World Music in Belize to Innovation at RIT

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 14:32 -- Anonymous (not verified)


Grassroots learning is learning by doing it yourself, with the materials you have at hand.  As a teacher in Belize, RIT Graphic Design graduate student Tim O’Malley had immediate experience in this. "I really got interested in grassroots start-ups, because in Belize, everything is a start-up."

O’Malley worked on several projects including organizing and working as an Art Director for Stonetree Records and Cumbancha World Music. Working on designing the website, the album, promotions, and brand identity, O’Malley had a central hand in giving a visual face to under appreciated music in the Garifuna culture, a linguistic network of people descended from Carib, Arawak and African ancestors.  His work brought him to team up with local legend Andy Palacio as he sought to record the Garifuna musical legacy.  The fruits of their labor was Wátina, ranked as #1 in’s list of all time greatest world music albums.

So what brought O’Malley to RIT?  As he pursues his graduate studies, O’Malley hopes to bring to life what the Innovation Center has to offer for the student body.  "I’m interested in people doing things because there is a need for it, not just for profit," explained O’ Malley.  "I like encouraging collaboration, even where there is no system in place."

One of O’Malley’s most recognizable contributions to the center has been the Idea Boards, a way of sharing ideas visually among students passing through the center. Come in and check it out!

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