A Call to Value the Arts in Barbados

Dr. Donna Hunte-Cox, CEO of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), has suggested that Barbados is still battling to change the perceptions of performing arts as not being a viable and sustainable career choice. Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below.

Speaking at an NCF symposium for artists at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre yesterday, she lamented, “Barbados is indeed a developing country where the arts and culture are concerned. We are still battling to have the performing arts included in our formal curriculum, yet we have examinations at CXC level in Performing Arts. We still face those parents who are skeptical about allowing our children to pursue studies in the arts, for fear that they will not be able to obtain a real job.”

[. . .] “We have as a collective to change the mindset of our fellow Barbadians. Change is taking place. Every indicator denotes that the world is changing rapidly around us. It is our responsibility, therefore, to equip our children and ourselves with the knowledge and skills to succeed in this new world; a world now driven by creativity and innovation,” she maintained. “A celebration and high appreciation of the validity of the components which make us who we are as Caribbean people via our music, festivals, fashions, landscape, craft, food, dance and artistic expressions across all genres is the key to our survival as a region and their success as an emerging generation of intelligent, well-informed Caribbean natives.”

[. . .] “The universe has opened up and has shifted the focus of the world to our region, where these small but fertile islands have been able to nurture music greats, cultural icons and Nobel Peace Prize winners with very little financial resources. Our resources, however, lie in our people! Today let’s create history, as you chart the path for developing a sustainable cultural industry.”

For full article, see http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?more=local&NewsID=9797

Shown here, Bajan artist Fielding Babb’s “The Village” (from the University of South Florida’s Special Collections),  http://library.ucf.edu/specialcollections/Exhibits/Bryant/OurIslandHomes01.asp

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