A night filled with great talent and important messages which will encourage persons to ???love safely’ will be on the cards for those attending this year’s Love, Poetry and Song concert.

This was the sentiment shared by members of the coordinating committee of the event, who encouraged the public to bring their chairs and blankets to Ilaro Court on Saturday, February 16, from 6:00 p.m. to be a part of the fundraising concert for the HIV Food Bank.

Explaining the origins of the event, Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) HIV Internal Committee member, Paula Harper-Grant, said:?? "Last year we had this idea…to have a concert to raise funds for the HIV Food Bank…We decided to bring together some spoken word artistes, some singers, some dancers, kind of a cultural extravaganza, and it actually worked well.

"We found that some of the artistes who are very talented in Barbados but who never get a chance to be exposed, were able to come out and have a forum…The response was so overwhelming…We had the Museum sold out…We ran out of space and we had to turn back people…The generosity last year was fantastic," she said, adding that persons contacted the BGIS after the concert to find out how they could contribute to the cause.

This fantastic response she noted, was why Love, Poetry and Song 2013 had to be taken to a larger venue, which would allow important messages relating to HIV to be shared with a wider audience.

Committee Member and MC for Love, Poetry and Song, Lisa Bayley agreed, adding that "2012 was good, but we are going to try to be even better… We were at the Museum and [last year] it became standing room only, so we made a very bold decision to move to Ilaro Court."

An appreciative audience at last year’s Love, Poetry and Song. (FP)

Speaking about the concert’s raison d’etre, she remarked: "We do this because we are trying to help the Food Bank. It does not get money directly from Government and it works basically from donations; and the Food Bank not only helps people who have HIV but also their families and their children…It (the Bank) gets help at particular times of the year…but we want to be able to sustain it on an annual basis so that every day there is something there for people who really need it."

Noting that the concert should be the beginning and not the end of support for the agency, Mrs. Bayley pointed out: "One of the other things we are hoping to get out of Love, Poetry and Song is to get corporate Barbados – and that does not just mean big businesses, small businesses can do it as well – to adopt a shelf of the HIV Food Bank…so that they will consistently give a particular good or goods for a period of time".

Love, Poetry and Song will feature some of the island’s best local talent, including Wesu, Fifi Bloom, Daveny Ellis, Marisa Lindsay, Philip 7 and Hal Linton.

The HIV Internal Committee offered thanks to Platinum Sponsor, DB Productions; Elegant Hotels Barbados, Going Places Travel, Merville Lynch Productions, Infinity Car Rentals, CKE Security, Island Care, Signia Financial Group Inc. and Deloitte.?? They also noted that other entities interested in offering their support to the event and the HIV Food Bank could do so by contacting the BGIS at 426-2232.


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