Lashley: Celebrate our artistesThe dance of schoolgirl Sade Mariah Edwards was well choreographed. (Lennox Devonish)
Sat, September 08, 2012 - 12:03 AM
NOTING that excellence must be the watchword, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley has implored those participating in this year’s National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) to connect their excellence to the community.
Lashley gave the feature address at the launch of NIFCA 2012 at Hilton Barbados on Thursday night.
“The artistes will tell you that everything they portray is not necessarily apt. For many of them, they live the reality everyday and they seek to transform you and by extension transform the community by what they say and what they do.”
Lashley said that while Government, through the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), had spearheaded NIFCA’s development by way of workshops, scholarships and increasing prize money,
it was important that all and sundry be connected with the real-life issues in the communities.
He said the country had a responsibility to remember stalwarts who had served well and without whom “we could not have NIFCA in the form we have today”.
Before an audience that included NCF chairman Monique Taitt, Lashley said that artistes needed to be celebrated because they were of world-class quality, a fact that sometimes escapes Barbadians.
Though being a small nation, Barbados had been able to produce excellent artistes, he said.
“Every year we see it at NIFCA. We see the outpourings of excellence, we applaud the contributions and performances. In fact, we become transfixed by the entries whether fascinating paintings, musical or dramatic performances, particularly of our young people as they move us to tears with their level of professionalism,” the minister said.
Taitt said that NIFCA was an integral part of the cultural calendar and was an opportunity for aspiring artistes “to grow, to be free and to create”.
The NCF chairman said she continued to be fascinated by the wealth of talent here in Barbados, adding that the NIFCA season was one that always did this country proud.
The launch was beefed up by performances from Janine White in drama/speech, Robert Gibson in poetry and 17-year-old schoolgirl Sade Mariah Edwards in dance. (MK)
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