Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley. (FP)

The Ministry of Culture is determined to provide as many opportunities as possible for the graduates of its Youth Achieving Results (YAR) Programme.

This promise was made by Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley who gave the feature address at the YAR graduation, which was recently held in the Queens Park Steel Shed.

As he spoke to the graduates about the road ahead Mr. Lashley said: “We are resolute that we will not provide training and then abandon our graduates… You can be assured that we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to provide opportunities for Barbadian youth in all spheres of endeavour.”

Adding that one of the objectives of the YAR programme is to establish an ensemble through a Performing Arts Company, Minister Lashley promised that his Ministry would “persevere in [efforts] to establish the Performing Arts Company” which has not yet been achieved due to challenges with funding.

Commenting on the promising future ahead for the graduates, the Minister stated that the skills training provided through the YAR Programme would sustain the performing and visual arts in Barbados and add to the innovation and creativity of the country’s cultural landscape. “‘Zenith’ which was formed from the Performing Arts Programme this year reached the semi-finals of the 2017 National Independence Festival of Creative Arts,” he cited.

As he commended the graduates for their “insight into the value of participating in the Ministry’s development activities” and in investing in the futures of both the nation and themselves, Mr. Lashley also urged them to strive for more:

“…I urge you to take no small comfort in what you have achieved so far today, continue to aspire to higher ideals as only those who persevere have the opportunity to perfect and maximise the rewards from plying their craft. You now have the capacity to leave an indelible legacy of excellence, achievement and a fine ethos and tradition for generations to come. I want to urge you graduates not to rest on your laurels and feel that you have arrived. Another journey now begins and as I stated before and want to emphasise, the ball is now in your court,” the Minister added.

This year the Youth Achieving Results saw an intake of 66 participants in the Performing Arts and 32 in the Visual Arts.

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