CARIFESTA XV to be used as a platform for environmental change

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By Elesha George

“Go big or go home”, seems to be the mantra of the management team, which has been tasked to lead the 15th edition of the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) next year.

The team will utilise the estimated $12.5 million budget, not only to attract mass visitors to Antigua and Barbuda, but to raise awareness of the challenges faced by the entire Caribbean region as a result of pollutants that lead to adverse climate conditions.

“We believe we can use an event as large as CARIFESTA to let the world know that as a region we are faced with very peculiar challenges, we are some of the smallest polluters on the planet but we are affected almost the greatest in the world,” said Festivals Minister, Daryll Matthew.

Artists, musicians and authors will all flock to the twin island state in 2021 to share, through drama and art, the folkloric and artistic manifestations of the Caribbean and Latin American region. It is the first time that Antigua and Barbuda will host the festival since it was launched in 1972.

To offset costs to the state, Minister Matthew said the government has already begun to hold discussions with international partners willing to fund the message behind next year’s festival.

“We intend to embark on an aggressive marketing and fund-raising campaign…I’m speaking about going to international agencies who will have an interest in participating in cultural progammes such as CARIFESTA, and also environmental agencies that will see some value in partnering with an initiative as large as CARIFESTA to raise the awareness of climate change, global warming and other environmental factors and challenges that we face as a region,” he explained.

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