While music, dance and masquerade remain popular and important aspects of cultural expression during the Crop-Over festival, Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett, is urging Barbadians to embrace all artistic elements of the season.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Crop-Over Visual Arts Exhibition at the Grande Salle, Tom Adams Financial Centre, yesterday, he said Barbadians must learn to appreciate the festival in its entirety, noting that the arts in their various forms were integral to the success of Crop-Over.??

Describing Crop-Over as a fusion of various elements of local culture with a unique brand, Mr. Blackett said the festival was also an opportunity for Barbadians to celebrate the wealth of local cultural diversity.

??"During the festival, songwriters, poets and story-tellers demonstrate their literary skills. Performers use dance, drama and audio visuals in their stage presentations. The arts, crafts and foods excite and satisfy…music pervades everything and the images captured on film provide opportunities for review, reminiscence or for sheer enjoyment," Mr. Blackett remarked.

The Culture Minister urged more sponsors and stakeholders to join his Ministry in seeking to develop the various art forms and creative expression and by extension, economic opportunities for individuals and groups.

According to him, music, dance, drama and the visual arts are activities which bring creativity to the fore, and if properly developed and managed could open doors for job opportunities in non-traditional areas.

"Our young people must be shown and convinced that they can be involved gainfully in such areas as graphic art… they can be dancers, script writers, song writers, film producers, musicians, music arrangers, producers, stage managers, set designers, makeup artistes or hairstylists,"?? Mr. Blackett noted. askeete@barbados.gov.bb

Author: Andr?? Skeete

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