The Minister of Culture, EP Chet Greene, said the announcement that Antigua & Barbuda will be hosting Carifesta VI in 2021, coincides with the ministry’s acquisition of new facilities and its current youth programmes.
According to the minister, there’s a plan to refurbish the Treasury Building and transform it into a museum for local musicians.
“We do need facilities like the one we’re creating now because if you have any idea of Carifesta, it is that kind of space you need to have for the thousands who come in, not only as artists and entertainers but the thousands who come to be a part of Carifesta’s cultural showcase,” Greene said.
During the recently held Caricom Inter-Sessional Meeting, the regional heads of government acknowledged the importance of Carifesta to the region’s identity and the need for avenues to display culture.
“We really want to take culture to another level. At the Culture Department today, you can go there and see young people of this country being trained in sculpting, painting [and] music,” Greene said.
The cultural department now offers free training to individuals who are “passionate” about the visual and performing arts, the minister indicated.
He added that currently, there is inadequate space “for our youngsters who are involved in performing arts where their skills can be honed and their training assured and ultimately where they can really lay down for the public a good presentation”.
Minister Greene told OBSERVER media that although Antigua & Barbuda shares a common culture with other countries in the region, “the twin island has qualities which define and separate it from the rest of the world in reference to Tourism”.
He added, “We need to expand our range of offering; it’s a very competitive environment.”
Greene said these additions to his ministry would be beneficial to the country when it opens its doors to the participants of Carifesta in four years.