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Mar 4, 2019

Belize & Panama Partner to Strengthen the Creative Industry

Today, NICH and the Embassy of Panama signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance theatre and crafts in Belize.  This will be done through workshop sessions and trainings to strengthen Belize’s cultural offerings.  Belize and Panama have collaborated before to build capacity within the creative industry. The signing happened at the Bliss in Belize City; Sapna Budhrani signed on behalf of NICH, while Ambassador Marta Boza signed on behalf of Panama. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The National Institute for Culture and History signed a memorandum of understanding with the Embassy of Panama to boost theatre productions and handicraft works in Belize. The MOU provides for two Panamanian art specialists and theatre expert to conduct training sessions in Belize for the next two months.


Greg Vernon

Greg Vernon, Director, ICA

“These are two maestros coming into Belize for training our students, teachers and artisans in developing the craft industry. We are also working with a professor out of Panama who will be coming to work with us in the theatre arts and drama.”


Vernon says these craft masters will help locals to use new techniques so that they can mass produce and put more authentic Belizean made pieces on the market  – that will give those “made in a foreign country”  Belizean souvenir direct competition.


Greg Vernon

“We are looking at making the craft industry being the quantity that we produce is more than what we import. It is unfortunate that we are looking towards China and looking towards Guatemala, looking towards Mexico and bringing in all our crafts that are selling on Albert Street and Tourist Village and everywhere we go.  How are we going to make sure our artisans start creating instead of one or two pieces for the day, we start to look at twelve pieces or fifteen pieces. And so Norma and Mr. Dickson will be coming in to look at that to have them create wood and as well as resin to make sure we start pressing molds that look like wood. Making sure that Belizean art flood the market. Making sure that we have small pieces that the people coming off the cruise would be able to take back home. But we are looking at the artisans selling their craft and making sure it is on the shelf; putting it on the Albert Street and making sure that when you walk in there it is made in Belize and not somewhere else.”


The MOU also makes provision for partnership with local education institutions. Vernon says that the theatre and drama component of the training course will be credited. The cost to put on all these sessions is roughly thirty-thousand dollars. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.


Another media production company from Panama will be training persons to work in radio and TV.   

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