Technology is the foundation upon which the history-making PanoGrama was grounded in 2020 and remains the vehicle that drives it forward today.
PanoGrama has taken it one step further by working with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in TT to engage youth in the metaverse, at this year’s Cheer Fair.
A media release said the IDB hosted Cheer Fair 2022 in hybrid format with two weeks of online learning and fun at the IDB virtual campus on the VR park virtual reality platform, which began on August 15 and ended on August 26. The target audience for this year’s Cheer Fair was children and young people under 18, along with their parents and members of the public.
“Cheer Fair is always about hosting fun and engaging activities for the whole family,” said Carina Cockburn, the IDB’s country representative in TT. “As we emerge from the dark days of the pandemic, we are particularly glad to include the metaverse in our activities this year and focus on a part of the population that is already active in this space. Indeed, engagement with younger generations is critical as we move toward the digital future of TT.”
CEO and founder of PanoGrama Nevin Roach said it was an honour to be part of the IDB activities and lauded the initiative.
“Advancements in technology shape lives and we must keep updated to remain competitive as a people. The IDB has embarked on an important journey, and I am happy to be part of it. I envision a future TT where there are virtual and augmented experiences that immerse visitors into the events leading to the creation of the steelpan, or the past operation of the Trinidad Government Railway, making them feel as if they were there in person.
“There is so much history and culture that can be packaged digitally for tourism and other sectors.”
Roach presented topics such as marketing, perseverance, personal and professional development to youth at the IDB’s virtual campus on August 23. He also highlighted PanoGrama as an avenue through which upcoming pannists can obtain knowledge, improve their craft and market themselves potentially to millions via television.
His presentation ended with performances from 2021 PanoGrama winner Keishaun Julien, and 2022 finalist Shaquille "Flogo" Forbes. Julien also shared some of his experiences.
IDB welcomed the partnership in the virtual and physical parts of this year’s programming. The organisation has a country strategy for 2021-2025 that focuses on digital transformation. As a result, IDB sees the work that PanoGrama is doing as part of digitalising local cultural expressions, including pan, the release said.
The Cheer Fair will culminate at Saith Park, Chaguanas, on August 27 and will see nine youth music and culture groups, along with PanoGrama, which will offer pan, drumming and percussion performances during online activities and in a cultural show in Chaguanas. The event takes place from 1-5pm.