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Patrick Foster reading his piece Baku Mind at Green Readings 2013. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

An explosion of artistic talent marked the start of Environment Month on Saturday, June 1, when the first of two Green Readings came off at Queen’s Park.

The month-long celebrations being held under the theme: Living Sustainably: An Ecofriendly Lifestyle for a Healthy Nation, kicked off with artists paying tribute to their environment through their interpretation of how it affected their own health.

And, Education Officer in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, Donna King-Brathwaite, said the future looked bright for the cultural event, which she hoped would grow beyond where it was now. "Right now we peaked at between 75 and 80 people," she said.

She explained that the event was conceptualised out of a need for the Ministry to find another avenue to get its messaging out. Noting that they started out by working with NIFCA, through different artistic offerings like the culinary arts, music and dance she added, a decision was made to take it further and hear the artists’ views on the environment.

"Then we got into discussions with the principals of ArtsEtc Barbados… We linked with the Cloister Bookstore and started the Green Readings on a Saturday morning in the store until it started to grow," she said.

Mrs. King-Brathwaite explained that after two years at the Cloister Bookstore, the event now in its 13th year started to take on a life of its own. "Since last year we added a musical component which is popular with street jazz with a tuk band. This is another avenue for a new set of artists," she said.

She added that the "open mic" sessions were also introduced to allow more people to share their writings on environmental issues. "The future looks bright from the artists’ perspective. The Ministry will continue to partner with those who are interested and share with them to get the messages out," she stressed.

James Lovell and Friends set the stage for the afternoon with their musical renditions as the artists gathered in the intimate setting to bring issues affecting the environment to life through their writings.

Among those sharing was Patrick Foster with his piece Baku Mind, Ronald Williams with Silent Killers and Shakira Bourne with her piece Healthy Greens. Meanwhile, the "open mic" sessions saw presentations from Empress Zyngha on Miss Too Thick and Iris Flow with You, Me and the Floor Boards.

The second Green Readings for the month will be held next Saturday, June 8, at the Richard Haynes Boardwalk, Hastings, Christ Church, beginning at 3:30 p.m.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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