THE Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) is committed to maintaining and improving its training programmes, which help to engage communities in productive lifestyles, build economic strength and improve the profile of the local cultural experience.
As such, the CDF is dedicating significant time and resources to the development and facilitation of diverse, high quality arts and cultural activities. This summer, the CDF engaged in three training activities which all in some way sought to introduce members of various communities to particular aspects of Saint Lucian and Caribbean culture. The first of the mentioned programmes commenced on July 12 with the final concluding on August 24.
Dance, music and drama are the main areas on which facilitators of the Performance Arts Training are focusing as they work with participants from as young as 6 years old in Vieux Fort.
Coordinator of the programme, Barbara DuBoulay, is confident that the exercise is an opportunity to hone arts and cultural skills and talents of young people in and around the Vieux Fort community. Usually focusing on dance, the programme was extended this year to include drama and music, at the end of which participants will put on a production, combining their skills and talents to showcase work done over the four-week period.
The team of facilitators in dance (Richard Ambroise, Kendell Fontenelle, Priscilla Blasse), drama (Barbara duBoulay, Sophia Lashley), music (Priscillia Lucien) and arts/craft (D’Kel Louisy, Udra Chiquot) are diligently engaging more than seventy youngsters towards their final presentation on the theme, “Colours of the arts – My dream; my life”.
Soufriere and surrounding communities have been receiving Steel Pan Training – Theory & Practical under the direction of Gregory Piper and Hausan “Zorro” Griffith. The programme presents participants with the rudiments of Steel Pan Music Theory (Gregory Piper) and Steel Pan Practical (Hausan Griffith).
Tremendous support has been provided by the Office of the Parliamentary Representative for Anse la Raye/ Canaries, as well as the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation, with the provision of transportation for participants coming from neighbouring communities.
Danna Dolor-Jn. Pierre, Training & Promotion Officer at the CDF, is heartened by the level of assistance provided for the successful hosting of the training and is equally pleased with the response and interest shown thus far by the participants for the introductory exercise taking place this year in the community of Soufriere.
The nearly thirty enthusiasts, who were not required to have a background in steelpan playing, are beyond thrilled to be learning their new skill.
Since the opening ceremony on July 20, over sixty students enrolled in the Youth Summer Arts Platform (YSAP) for 2017 have been kept busy by facilitators Nickita Clarke-John and Natanni St. Omer (dance), Priscilla Lucien (music), Cuthbert Popo, Jason Alcide and Niger Nestor (drumming), Nadeige Charles (song), Rohan Barthelmy (dress/costume & make-up), Gilland Avril (stage & set design), Anthony Wilkie and Jamie La Force (theatre arts/drama), Collin Weekes (film), Albert Joseph (photography) and Kentillia Louis (creative writing).
This year, participants are receiving an introduction to various genres of the arts as well as an education on Saint Lucian and Caribbean culture, including one-on-one interactions with twadisyon O’pyay, a traditional community group from Piaye, during which time they will research and document African traditional dances.
Their information gathering will result in the creation of a documentary under the theme, “Saint Lucian Cultural Art forms – From the community to the stage”. The final production is scheduled to be presented at the National Cultural Centre.