By Vidya Thurab
The Division of Tourism, Culture and Transport on Tuesday launched its 2018 Performing Arts Training Programme at the Ann Mitchell Gift Auditorium, Scarborough Library.
Secretary of the Division, Nadine Stewart-Phillips, delivering the feature address, said the decades-old programme was the corner-stone of culture and performing arts development on the island.
"It has exposed interested persons to the fundamentals and intricacies of the many disciplines of the performing and visual art world," Stewart-Phillips said.
The programme will focus on five categories - dance, music, drumming, theatre and visual arts and a revised curriculum is designed to improve standards for performers to compete internationally.
Noting that the United Nations World Trade Organisation has identified cultural tourism as one of the fastest growing tourism trends, Stewart Phillips said this has been reflected in the rise in cultural activities and a social longing for culture and heritage.
She said by strengthening the curriculum of training programmes in Tobago, “we can then continue at an advanced level to nurture talent, inspire creativity and encourage entrepreneurship within our population while positioning Tobago to strengthen our cultural tourism product and reap the rewards of revived economy with tourism and culture at its core."
Cultural Officer II Elvis Radgman, in giving an overview of the programme’s aims and objectives, described it as a grassroots training programme specifically designed to professionally prepare performers in the areas of music dance, drama and drumming and provides participants with a holistic understanding of the various disciplines as well as an opportunity to equip themselves with the performance skills necessary to contribute to various cultural art forms on the island.
"The philosophy of this programme seeks to create a multifaceted performer, one who is professionally trained in folk, African art forms and in techniques of the modern day concept of our time," he said.