Boost For Arts, Culture In South

Image: O’kelle Dusauzay. a potter, opens the Centre.

By Kingsley Emmanuel

CDF Sets Up In Laborie.

Image: O’kelle Dusauzay. a potter, opens the Centre.
O’kelle Dusauzay. a potter, opens the Centre.

THE Cultural Development Foundation (CDF), last Friday, officially opened a southern office in Laborie, which according to its executive director, Melchoir Henry, ‘will make things happen’, as it relates to the development of arts and culture in the south.

In his address at the official opening ceremony, which was held at the Papel Craft Centre, where the office is located, Henry said that the new unit will engage all artistes and persons from Micoud to Soufriere.

“We are seeking to make it possible for individuals who are involved in arts and culture to be independent, and the way to do so is by providing training and development which will enable them to stand up to express themselves in written words, dance, craft and so on,” Henry said.

He lamented that many people who have contributed to the development of arts and culture here, are not documented and emphasized the need to do so.

Image: CDF officials at the ceremony
CDF officials at the ceremony

“One of the things we need to do is to document for reflection and prosperity. These are the things we are interested in, and will collaborate with communities in that regard,” he said.

Henry called on persons to take responsibility for the development of arts and culture in their communities, adding that the CDF will provide them with the necessary support.

“In the area of performing arts, one of the new strategies we want to develop is to go in the community and work with groups and individuals to get them to perform at a certain level, whereby they will be able to put a complete quality product together,” Henry explained.

He added: “You know your cultural icons. You know the people who have given a lot to help others…identify them and we will work with them. You know those people better than us.”

Henry identified the lack of proper facilities to hold shows as a major challenge for the CDF. “We have the Human Resource Centres, but the spaces are inadequate to hold shows,” he said.

Chairman of the CDF, Petrus Compton, said the office was small, but added that a lot of things can be achieved in it.

“The things that can be achieved coming out of this small space can be dynamic, and as universal or global as we want. We are only limited by our imagination,” Compton said.

Image: Laborie Junior Steelpan Orchestra performs at the ceremony
Laborie Junior Steelpan Orchestra performs at the ceremony

He said the CDF has had a strategic review and has re-focused, adding that one of the pillars of that refocus was outreach.

“It means going into the community and working with artistes and people who are interested in the development of arts and culture,” he said.

Compton said the existence of an office in the southern part of the island represents a change of philosophy by the CDF. He said such a philosophy will go a long way in further developing culture in the south.

“We are not working with communities from outside, we are getting inside. We are integrated…” he said.

The ceremony was marked with a splendid display of musical and cultural presentations by the Laborie Junior Steel Pan Orchestra and the Laborie Stilt Walkers.

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