Centre of Arts to play a major role in cultural advancement
The opening of the National Development Centre of the Arts will play a major role in the advancement of culture and the arts in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
The new facility, which opened on Friday September 18 at New Montrose, in building that formerly housed the Imani Pre-School, is considered a home for culture and the arts and houses a fine arts gallery, a craft centre and the office of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF).
Chairman of the NCP Wollis Christopher told the opening that the establishment of the centre has been a long, tedious and winding journey which began many years before he was NCF chairman.
He noted that the dream became more visible in 2016 when several crafters and artists came together and formed a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) called Art “N” Action and when that group became aware of the availability of the property, they submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Culture.
He said the group was hoping that the facility could be used as a national art gallery.
Christopher said that Minister of Culture Cecil McKie took the proposal to Cabinet and the NCF was mandated to manage the project.
Going further, he said an executive body was established to push the project forward and despite several setbacks the centre is now open with the help of Cabinet and the National Lotteries Authority (NLA).
The NCF Chairman said that apart from the crafters cove, the national art gallery and the NCF office, the facility also has an area for training and development of culture and the arts.
“I am sure that you will agree that the location of the facility is excellent,” said Christopher who noted that the close proximity to the Botanic Gardens means that the centre is a must stop for tourists.
On display are paintings and local art and craft from several well-known and not so known artists.
Christopher noted also that recently, the NCF through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture was able to secure funds for the centre from the Canadian Fund for Local Initiative (as a COVID-19 response).
Christopher stressed also that they are not wasting time, and soon, the NCF will hold three training workshops, one in craft for women and two for film production aimed at the youths.
He also made mention of artist Julian Pollard and choreographer and cultural officer Maxine Brown for their contribution in getting the funding that made the centre possible.
Christopher also noted that the Art “N” Action must be congratulated as their continued focus and perseverance has paid off.
In her remarks, Sherika Sayers of Art “N” Action, who is curator of the gallery said that facility is long time coming.
“Vincentian artists and craft people can finally say we have a space to call our own,” Sayers said.
The opening also heard remarks from Minister of Culture Cecil McKie and Chairman of the St Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust and former Cultural Officer Anthony Theobalds.