Former participants of the Community Development Department’s Community Arts Programme, Dawayne Sandiford (left); Kadeem Agard; Kristina Parris-Drakes and Michael Agard, posing by signage which their company C.Majic created, along with CDD Senior Tutor, Dwayne Mayers (second from left) and Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Dwight Sutherland. (S. Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

Four former participants of the Community Development Department’s (CDD) Community Arts Programme, Community Artist in the Making (AIM), were given kudos for creating a sign painting and automotive art business – C.Majic.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Dwight Sutherland, commended the group, yesterday at the Ministry’s Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall location, as he acknowledged their recent work, which included creating car park signage at the Ministry and automotive signage for its new electric vehicle.

“I’m so happy to see these three men and one young lady who started this programme, under the tutelage of Mr. Mayers, and I want to congratulate them.  They were able to be trained within the Community Arts Programmes to form a company….

“And when we speak of empowerment, this is true empowerment, whereby young men and women are given the opportunity to become businessmen and also to further develop products.  I want to congratulate you and ask you to keep going from strength to strength; keep developing your business,” Minister Sutherland stated.

In addition, the Minister noted that the creation of C.Majic is testimony to what the Ministry is trying to achieve, which he said is “to empower young people, men and women to become true businessmen in this country, who can help build out its local economy, and also send skills abroad”.

The company, which received financial assistance from the Barbados Trust Fund Limited to purchase equipment for the business, has also published a set of colouring books entitled “Colour Me – Caribbean Style Book”, which illustrate local images and landscapes. 

They are on the book lists of primary schools in Barbados, and are available at all leading local book stores.

Former CDD Arts Programme Participants Dawayne Sandiford and Kristina Parris-Drakes posing by car park signage they made. (S. Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

Chief Community Development Officer, Sandra Greenidge, pointed out that since its inception in 2000, the AIM programme had trained over 3,000 young people, and some of the former participants are now giving back by helping younger people who are interested in learning a skill.

She noted that Senior Tutor, Dwayne Mayers, in 2010, tweaked and revamped the AIM programme to include sign painting and automotive art.  She added that despite COVID-19 hampering face-to-face classes, he, along with the Coordinator of the Programme, Bridgette Marshall-Griffith, had found a way to conduct the courses under the programme.

Mrs. Marshall-Griffith stated: “We have offered some of the programming online.  What Dwayne has done is that he has started some YouTube videos, so what he’s going to do is put some tutorials on YouTube, so that persons can still benefit from the programme.”  She explained that the programme, which was initially an eight-month course, had been broken down into “bite size bits”, and offered in two or four week formats.

Mr. Mayers, who was also present, gave some advice to his former students. He told them to “stay positive; keep putting one foot in front the other, and just keep the good work up”.  He also used the opportunity to encourage other young persons to get involved with the programme, insisting that they “won’t be disappointed”.

Persons interested in participating in the Community Arts Programme, AIM, may call Mrs. Marshall-Griffith at 535-1662, or email bridgette.marshall@barbados.gov.bb.

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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