Features

National Arts Festival Launched

Image: Dance forms a major part of the annual National Arts Festival [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]

THE time of year for local artisans and artistes is finally here once again as always, the Cultural Development Foundation is on a high, promising to spare no expense to see this year off without any hitches.

This year’s NAF which has the theme “Colours and Contours, Rhythms and Rhyme” has promised to kick off with big changes but to also maintain their original goal for the arts and culture.

The festival is one of the CDF’s flagship events which seeks to encourage the growth of the arts and artistic expression in St. Lucia.

The launch which was held last Thursday kicked off with an excerpt from the NAF Theatre Night Play “Requiem of a Bad John” which saw actors portray some of the most pressing societal ills, including violence and domestic abuse.

CDF Events Officer Drenia Frederick said the festival is about bringing communities and artists together to focus on their strengths.

It is this strength she said and belief that allows the society to encourage freedom of speech and to create and be objective about the human condition

Frederick said: “When they say we are living in times where people ask ‘What is the relevance of artistic expression arts and culture? How does it benefit me, the community and the country?’ We must look beyond the trappings of the real mortgage, the real job, we must look beyond and we must understand ourselves, and it is through our art, it is through the work of the artists that the society can look at itself, make an assessment and move forward as a nation.”

The launch was just one of the many scheduled events for the year for the CDF who has vowed to use the festival to identify the needs of artists, audiences and communities.

Celeste Burton of the CDF said: “Over the years, our national arts festival and some of our other community based activities have been focused on developing the talents and skills of persons who are interested in the arts in the various genres of the arts at the community level. We normally host workshops and rehearsals for the activities for the NAF, this year however, we are using the activities of NAF to identify talent and areas of needs which is a constant activity that we are engaged in, because as we move from event to event, the needs change.”

She said there will be a number of planned activities and workshops, including a dance workshop for the South of the island and a Youth Summer Arts Programme which is based in the North of the island.

Burton said the programmes are to ensure that the love of the arts lives on in the people, and to entice possible new artistes.

Melchoir Henry, who is the CDF’s Executive Director, stated that the organisation is one of resilience and is capable of adapting to the changing environment.

One of the major changes that he spoke of surrounded the change of date for the celebration of the Cultural Icon which is being moved to October to be observed alongside the Arts and Heritage Month

Henry said: “The CDF and the FRC have been charged with the responsibility to fashion the Arts and Heritage Month. So we have a free hand to make it look however we want it to look, and so we have agreed to move Cultural Icon down to October.

Henry stated that the CDF is hoping to have a greater impact on the community levels, especially with the changes that are being made. But their ultimate goal for the arts and culture will never change.

THE time of year for local artisans and artistes is finally here once again as always, the Cultural Development Foundation is on a high, promising to spare no expense to see this year off without any hitches.

This year’s NAF which has the theme “Colours and Contours, Rhythms and Rhyme” has promised to kick off with big changes but to also maintain their original goal for the arts and culture.

The festival is one of the CDF’s flagship events which seeks to encourage the growth of the arts and artistic expression in St. Lucia.

The launch which was held last Thursday kicked off with an excerpt from the NAF Theatre Night Play “Requiem of a Bad John” which saw actors portray some of the most pressing societal ills, including violence and domestic abuse.

CDF Events Officer Drenia Frederick said the festival is about bringing communities and artists together to focus on their strengths.

It is this strength she said and belief that allows the society to encourage freedom of speech and to create and be objective about the human condition

Frederick said: “When they say we are living in times where people ask ‘What is the relevance of artistic expression arts and culture? How does it benefit me, the community and the country?’ We must look beyond the trappings of the real mortgage, the real job, we must look beyond and we must understand ourselves, and it is through our art, it is through the work of the artists that the society can look at itself, make an assessment and move forward as a nation.”

The launch was just one of the many scheduled events for the year for the CDF who has vowed to use the festival to identify the needs of artists, audiences and communities.

Celeste Burton of the CDF said: “Over the years, our national arts festival and some of our other community based activities have been focused on developing the talents and skills of persons who are interested in the arts in the various genres of the arts at the community level. We normally host workshops and rehearsals for the activities for the NAF, this year however, we are using the activities of NAF to identify talent and areas of needs which is a constant activity that we are engaged in, because as we move from event to event, the needs change.”

She said there will be a number of planned activities and workshops, including a dance workshop for the South of the island and a Youth Summer Arts Programme which is based in the North of the island.

Burton said the programmes are to ensure that the love of the arts lives on in the people, and to entice possible new artistes.

Melchoir Henry, who is the CDF’s Executive Director, stated that the organisation is one of resilience and is capable of adapting to the changing environment.

One of the major changes that he spoke of surrounded the change of date for the celebration of the Cultural Icon which is being moved to October to be observed alongside the Arts and Heritage Month

Henry said: “The CDF and the FRC have been charged with the responsibility to fashion the Arts and Heritage Month. So we have a free hand to make it look however we want it to look, and so we have agreed to move Cultural Icon down to October.

Henry stated that the CDF is hoping to have a greater impact on the community levels, especially with the changes that are being made. But their ultimate goal for the arts and culture will never change.

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team...Read full bio...

 

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