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Feb 28, 2018

Art Takes over Albert Street

The street art festival held in the city yearly has been growing by leaps and bounds. This year, there were more artists, more art in many forms, entertainment and food as well as new attractions at the festival held in downtown Belize City. Hungry for culture and art, thousands of residents came out to be part of the colourful event and there was something to please everyone.  News Five’s Duane Moody also joined in the fun.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Thousands of Belizeans converged on downtown Albert Street on Saturday for the eighth annual Street Art Festival hosted by the Institute of Creative Arts of the National Institute of Culture and History. There was no shortage of the performing arts as well as visual arts and street art as the stretch of road between Orange Street and Dean Street was transformed into a festival. Communications Officer Neil Hall says the festival is seeing the return of the kite-making section of the kids’ zone.


Neil Hall

Neil Hall, Communications Officer, NICH

“The band is about to strike up in any minute now. We’ve been walking up and down. We’ve got art, we’ve got jewelry, we’ve got crafts. We’ve got knit work, we’ve got carpentry, we’ve got sculpture…we’ve got the living sculpture. We’ve got the sidewalk art competition and we are about to announce the winner in just a few minutes. We’ve got the main stage which will have the marimba group in a few; Leroy Green is ready to start. We’ll have the Style N’ Precision Dance Group….we’ve got Dawgy, Cocono Bwai in just a few. The kite making section of the kids zone. That has been a blast and more adults have been having fun there than the kids almost because it has been so interactive and so much fun. We have the youth stage: they’ll be having dancers, singers, poets; even a yoga class happening on there. Everything you can ever want is here at the Street Art Festival.”


It was a fun-filled event for the entire family where children were also able to get their faces painted and attendees were able to enjoy Belizean entertainment and food. One of the biggest attractions each year is the sidewalk art competition, where amateur and professional artists put their skills to the test to win over the judges’ points; the inspiration, for the artists, varied.



Dayeli, Participant, Sidewalk Art Competition

“I never really know weh I want do, so I just eat wah bun cheetos this morning and I look pan it and I was like okay, I wah draw this cheetos. But then I think like I mi really want dash this bun cheetos on the floor and I feel other people woulda want dash it pan the floor too and then I think about it and I dah like, I can’t just do this to my environment so I try turn this into some form of environmental awareness. That’s why I have the earth like yo can’t just dash it there; yo have to think about the environment and the butterflies and everything that will be there.”


David Joseph

David Joseph, Participant, Sidewalk Art Competition

“I come out to the festival to come show my talent and the thing weh I have up.  People come do dehn face and I just think about doing civic.  This dah the new civic center but like I say, I neva had the color fi match it exactly, but I give it the exact same way how it deh. And I think I coudla mi do better, but I work with weh I have.”


One artist used his painting to evoke the social issues affecting the country. Alex Sanker explains:


Alex Sanker

Alex Sanker, Artist

“This one portrays that politics in the country is ripping our country apart and who di suffer? The poor people. Pieces like this, people take personal, but to me it is art and it is the truth. The day I choose not to be a true artist, I will fail. We have to realize what affects majority of Belizeans is corruption in the country so my thing is to put the blame on certain parties, it’s false—it’s on both sides. At the end of the day, a lot of people say it is political; for me, it is art.”


There was also an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the history of Belize, Selini Solis of the Institute for Social and Cultural Research says that persons who visited the booth learned more about Belize’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage.


Selini Solis

Selini Solis, Senior Research and Education Officer, ISCR

“Each of the other branches has prepared booths to engage and have outreach with the Belize City community. We’ve all prepared games and interactive activities to have people of all ages and backgrounds come and interact with the work that we do. We’re also explaining to them what each of the branches does so it is really an education and outreach activity to ensure that the general public is aware of the NICH branches and what each of us does.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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