Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Ruth Blackman congratulating??Kerri-Ann Hurley who received a honourable mention for jewellery making in the YAR Programme.??(/BGIS)

The Youth Achieving Results (YAR) programme is a "perfect fit" within the National Youth Policy and the Cultural Industries Development Bill.??

This is the assertion of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, Ruth Blackman.??

She was speaking at the graduation showcase of the YAR programme, which was held on Sunday, June 2, at the Steel Shed, Queens Park, the City.

Ms. Blackman: said, "The National Youth Policy speaks to developing the necessary enabling environment that would allow our youth to develop to their full potential.?? The Cultural Industries Bill will also create an enabling environment for the development of the cultural industries through incentives and other strategies."

She explained that the YAR programme was an initiative of the Division of Youth and the National Cultural Foundation (NCF).?? "It is a fully supported incubator for the young men and women interested in the cultural industries. Initially, the programme carried a single discipline focus, but has evolved into a skillful blend of disciplines and orientations designed to create a cadre of multi-skilled performers and artisans."

The Permanent Secretary said the YAR Programme had helped young people to fulfill their goals of pursuing a career in the arts and becoming cultural entrepreneurs.

"In doing so, these young people, through their various achievements will be contributing directly and indirectly to the socio-economic development of Barbados.

"The YAR programme encourages all participants to learn new skills and to create new works that are informed by their experiences…positively asserting their identity as proud and intelligent Barbadians.?? In telling their own stories, they are following in the footsteps of this country’s cultural icons, creating new footprints in the annals of our history," Ms. Blackman said.

Stating that the theme of the showcase: My Moment, My Time, was appropriate, she told the graduates that they should regard the celebrations as a "coming of age… because you stayed the course and completed the journey".

"This group [of participants], though small… has punched above its weight and has shown its might, commitment, growth and achievement through expression in song, dance, and theatre arts," she said, lauding the "fine craftsmanship and excellent work" of the Visual Arts graduates.

According to Ms. Blackman, the YAR Programme, which started in 2001, has already been gaining success with Performing Arts graduates regularly showcasing their talents in the island’s calypso tents, on the hotel circuit, and in established musical bands.??

Chief Executive Officer of the NCF, Cranston Browne, noted that the NCF provided responsible tutors to the initiative and pledged his organisation’s dedication to the YAR Programme.

"A commitment that has never waned and remains close to the hearts of all those involved as they proudly witness the transformation of these participants, from their entry into the programme, to their exit into our local cultural industries of music, dance, drama and the visual arts.??

"We challenge ourselves to keep these young minds engaged in the arts so that we not only keep the level of enrollment in the programme on a high, but the completion rate even higher," Mr. Browne affirmed.

He also stressed the success of the YAR programme, pointing out that the accomplishments of the past graduates were testament to this.??

"…[Many] have either formed their own businesses and have gone on to penetrate the industry; become awardees in national competitions; or have been teachers and mentors for participants in this and other similar efforts," Mr. Browne said.??


Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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