The Cultural Division held the 2023 Schools Arts Festival last week and it was a splendid display of talent, creativity and hard work by both teachers, students and the division. Over 15 primary and secondary schools participated in the events.
Minister for Culture,Youth,Sports and Community Development, Hon. Gretta Roberts said that as a former school principal she understands the value and benefits of the Schools Arts Festival for student learning and development. She added that the aim is to expose all children at every school to the performing arts in the hope that they will begin to see the arts as a means of expressing their creativity, as a career option and ultimately as an innovative way to contribute to national development.
She continued, “We can all agree that engagement in the fine arts help students to stretch their minds beyond the boundaries of their textbooks. It gives them the freedom to think, to act, to sing, to dance, to play an instrument or simply to create. I am pleased, therefore that the cultural division continues to host this event among our schools”.
Roberts praised the division’s efforts at including many youth in the preservation of the arts.
“Going forward, you will see more activities geared towards our schools to promote Dominica’s culture among our children who should be charged with its preservation.”
Meanwhile, Chief Cultural Officer, Earlson Matthew said in his remarks that the festival falls perfectly in line with the youth agenda of the division.
“We will continue to do everything in our power to nurture the next generation through traditional and cultural expressions and the arts in general.”
Matthew commended the teachers and trainers who keep the students occupied and ready throughout the year; the judges and sponsors as well as the Dominica Festival Commission who collaborated with them. He expressed special thanks to the staff of the division for the hard work done thus far in 2023 in staging the Old Mas Jouvert Edition, Pan in the City as well as continued training, research and documentation.
He added that more support wood greatly assist the division in carrying out its mandate.
“However, we are at the juncture where we require more than commendation after the fact but the tangible support that will aid us in realizing our goals from both within and outside of the public service…Cultural work never stops.”