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Small keeping the arts alive in SVG

Small keeping the arts alive in SVG

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Students and persons involved in the arts in St Vincent and the Grenadines have been given first-hand advice on how to successfully pursue their craft.

The knowledge and information was imparted during a symposium dubbed, ‘Arts Alive’, which was organized by pannist and musician Rodney Small.{{more}}

Speaking at the opening of the symposium, which was held at the Peace Memorial Hall on Wednesday, Small explained that the day’s event was designed as a structured and interactive programme that is expected to provide young artistes and aspiring artistes with the requisite knowledge and skills to help them lay the foundation for enabling them to succeed in a very competitive industry.

The symposium attracted persons from secondary schools, drama groups and dance groups, while a number of aspiring artistes had the opportunity to interact and learn from more performers like Shernell ‘Skarpyon’ Williams, Juanita Phillips (dancer), Shaunelle McKenzie, Olson ‘Arby’ James, Gloria Williams (dramatist) and producer Alex Barnwell.

There was also a ‘Master Class’ presentation, which was facilitated by Dexter Bacchus, Pablo Lewis, Jemron Delpesche, Anthony Theobalds, Rodney Small and Jomo Francis.

Speaking at the opening on Wednesday, Small said that the testimonials and master class were expected to provide “some surprises” and even more interesting insights into the various art forms.

Said Small, “our presenters were carefully chosen to ensure you will receive the best of information available.”

Explaining why he decided to hold the first ever symposium of this nature, the experienced music man said that last year he assured sponsors of his event ‘Steel Expressions 2014- The Legend’, that some of the profits made from the show would have been channelled into a development programme for performers.

He, however, noted, “we were very optimistic that dollars would be made. When the dust settled on The Legends, we had no money. However, we were committed to the event and here we are today. We forge on.”

He revealed that the symposium is the launch pad for an island wide schools and community tour that will begin in the early quarter of 2016. The programme is a collaboration between RS Productions and Mijé Personal Development and Advertising Agency, ably assisted by a team of major players on our entertainment landscape.

“We are thankful to the Minister of Education, the Honourable Girlyn Miguel and the Hon Cecil Mc Kie, Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture, for their endorsements and the faith they have in us to empower the nation’s youths. At the end of today’s session, we hope you will leave here feeling invigorated, empowered and you commit to keep arts alive,” said Small.

He noted also that this month was chosen to launch this programme, as October is the month when this country celebrates Independence.

“We realize it is a period when we are most patriotic and open to our own culture. We are indeed happy to note that the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts will host its Rex Nettleford Third International Arts Conference, beginning today in Jamaica, under the theme, ‘Growing the Arts: Breaking Boundaries.’ This event runs for three days. Soon we will get to that level.”

Small said that more than ever, people need the arts to help them cope with the challenging socio- economic times.

“A visit to the theatre or musical, for example, provides persons with a welcome break from the uncertainties associated with our daily lives. Perhaps one should imagine a world without the arts to be able to appreciate the important role the arts play in our society,” Small told persons at Peace Mo.

The symposium also heard from former Minister of Culture and lawyer René Baptiste, who delivered the feature address, in which she spoke about the importance of arts in everyday life and the commitment needed to survive in the entertainment industry.

The event was sponsored by Scotiabank, RS Production and Mijé.

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