April 24, 2015
Call made for boost in local arts, entertainment, culture industry

A number of concerned citizens recently held a symposium to address what measures can be taken to boost the arts, culture and entertainment in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The event, which was chaired by McConnie E Providence, was held at Beachcombers Hotel on Tuesday, April 21, and saw several members of the public who work in widely varying professions {{more}}in attendance.

Providence, who possesses a rich and diverse history in his musical career, lamented the lack of social activities and avenues to further develop arts and culture locally; and said that he hopes this (and future) symposiums could help to come up with ideas that could put the industry on a “new path”.

“Great culture enriches the lives of people,” he asserted.

Having moved back to SVG from Canada within the past month, Providence said that he was shocked at the lack of diversity in the sector, pointing out that in times gone by there seemed to be more.

With a focus on music, he has been making visits to various schools throughout St Vincent hoping to inspire some “musical retrenchment” among the youth – with particular focus on musical literacy.

“Music falls directly… in the category of education,” he opined.

Providence, who is a retired music conductor and arts administrator said that a lot of research has shown that musical literacy has a directly proportional correlation to levels of intelligence.

Mindful to point out that he has no interest in taking political sides, he said that he believes that a good move would be to construct an “ultra modern” cultural arts centre.

The symposium came about following a meeting between Providence, Flora Gunn, Cheryl Gunn and Beverly Tansal, and aims to recognise the indigenous cultural heritage of SVG, lend support to the indigenous creative arts, develop relevant infrastructure for the performance arts, and make music education pivotal and central in all schools.

Providence also said that the group will endeavour to assist in creating a commercially viable performing arts community, make cultural tourism pivotal and central to the local economy, and incorporate state-of-the-art infrastructure to “facilitate multiple genres of music, dance and drama.”

The project will see further symposiums being held on a regular basis, and the inclusion of more persons and stakeholders who operate and have a vested interest in the overarching industry.

Additionally, the project was sponsored by the management of Beachcombers Hotel and the Haddon Hotel.(JSV)