THE Cultural Development Foundation’s Summer of The Arts (SOTA) is a series of activities executed during the months of July and August designed to build community by reaching a diverse cross-section of Saint Lucians through training, discussion and exposé in the arts and cultural sector.
The summer programmes are aimed at supporting the development of the products and services in the Arts and Cultural Industries in Saint Lucia to enable and inspire diversity and vitality and contribute to sustainable socioeconomic development. Additionally, it is hoped that through the Summer of The Arts, the creative, artistic and technical skills capacity – especially of the youth – in arts and cultural industries will be strengthened.
From July 11 to August 10 this year, seven to 17 year olds from communities in and around Vieux Fort will meet at the Vieux Fort Primary School where facilitators, Richard Ambroise, Skyla James and Delzy Jn. Baptiste will introduce participants to basic skills in dance technique, encourage the creation of dance movements based on improvisation as well as explore the interpretation of various dance movements and genres.
According to Senior Officer in the Training, Promotion and Development Department at the CDF, Barbara DuBoulay, “the theme, Love, Peace and Dance, will inspire new entrants to the programme and encourage last year’s participants to embrace dance” as a meaningful and engaging developmental tool.
The Dance Training Workshop will take place Monday to Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. A registration fee of $50.00 will be charged and interested persons are invited to contact the CDF for further details.
The development of steel pan is a major focus area for the Cultural Development Foundation this summer. The CDF continues in its efforts to develop the skills and techniques of participants through the facilitation of Steel Pan Music Theory Level 1 as well as Steel Pan Building and Tuning Levels 1 & 2. These outlets for development will be offered in Castries and Vieux Fort.
The Royal Saint Lucia Police Band’s former Director of Music, Gregory Piper, who facilitated last year’s theory sessions, will again instruct participants at the Vieux Fort Primary School and the CDF Conference Room from July 25 – August 11 in captivating two-hour sessions. Registrants will be required to complete the process via any of CDF’s offices at a fee of $30.00.
“Hopefully in a couple of years, we won’t have to outsource pan tuners…”, “It’s hard work…but worth it.”, “…it’s a great skill to bring back to our bands…”. These are a few of the testimonials from participants of last year’s Steel Pan Building and Tuning Training Programme.
Danna Dolor-Jn.Pierre, Training, Promotion and Development Officer assures that the training being imparted by the facilitators for the Steel Pan Building and Tuning Level 1 & 2 is invaluable and without doubt an asset to musicians both now and in the future.
In an effort to cater to the needs of the youth to engage in meaningful activities that provide opportunities for growth and development in fun, relaxing environments, the Cultural Development Foundation hosts the Youth Summer arts Platform which targets young people ages 8 to 17 years, and focuses on teaching aspects of the arts and culture in a way that encourages them to learn new ideas and develop new skills while exploring their creativity and their personal talents. The programme seeks to help participants identify and tap into their natural talent and develop areas of interest for potential future careers.
This year’s programme offers training in nine areas: Dance, Drama, Drumming, Costume design, Singing, Public speaking, Graphic and Visual arts, Creative Writing and photography, Film and animation. During the first two weeks, participants will be engaged in workshop style sessions where they will learn the basic concepts of the various genres they have opted for, while in the second half of the programme they will audition for various roles, regroup and prepare for the production at the end of the programme. This year YSAP runs from Thursday July 21 to Wednesday August 24. It will be offered in the two communities of Anse-la-Raye and Castries as has been done in the past and the CDF is pleased to inform that this year, it has extended the YSAP to two new communities: Vieux Fort and Soufriere.
The Summer of The Arts schedule is inclusive of activities in commemoration of Emancipation as well as the celebration of the La Rose Festival. Organizers at the CDF are in on-going dialogue with stakeholders for the successful staging of events associated with these occasions and within the next three weeks will provide an update on the progress of the same.