August 14, 2015
Botanic Gardens a feature of Youlou Arts Foundation Summer Programme

The Botanic Gardens was a focus of attention during the 15th annual summer arts and craft programme hosted by the Youlou Arts Foundation.

Coordinator Camille Saunders-Musser told SEARCHLIGHT that this year, the participants were taken to the Botanic Gardens so that they could draw inspiration and use the site as their muse in their art pieces.{{more}}

She explained that she wanted the children to learn about the importance of the Gardens.

“It’s very special;, it’s the big anniversary and I really wanted the children to know why the Gardens came about and who did it and what the Gardens was used for.

“Do you believe in Barrouallie we had one little boy who had never been to the Botanic Gardens before and he lives here in St Vincent?”

A radio show was included among the activities, during which some of the participants pretended to be Robert Melville, Captain Bligh and other persons who contributed to starting the Botanic Gardens.

Saunders-Musser explained that during the radio show, the children interviewed one another to see what they had learnt.

This year’s programme was held under the theme “Growing Young SVG Artists,” and at the closing ceremony at the Postal Corporation headquarters in Kingstown on Friday, August 5, those in attendance were given the opportunity to view some of the artistic pieces done by the participants and to listen to some of their poetry.

Leondra Thompson, one of the programme instructors, told SEARCHLIGHT that although it was the first year she was taking part in the programme, it was an interesting and exciting experience.

“The most enjoyable part of the programme for me was interacting with the children…” she said.

Thompson also disclosed that during the programme, participants were told that they did not have to stick to Standard English in their writing, but that the use of dialect was also okay.

“..We let them know that it is okay to use dialect and be fun and playful with their words,” Thompson said.

“It was good, I had a lot of fun and I met new friends. I learnt that art is important and art takes you through a lot of things in the world,” Kayla, one of the participants, told SEARCHLIGHT.

She said that doing marbling and painting the books was her favourite activity.

Another participant said she found the programme exciting because she went to the Botanic Gardens, met new friends and learnt new things.

“I can do different stuff, not only paint but different stuff with art,” Crystal said.

The Youlou Arts Foundation programme runs for three weeks every July in four different communities across the island – Georgetown, Barrouallie, Kingstown and Spring Village. It caters for children between the ages of eight and 13.(CM)