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May 15, 2020

The National Festival of Arts 2020 Goes Virtual

The National Festival of Arts 2020 goes virtual. Around this time every year, the national showcase of primary and high school students in the performing arts would take centre stage at the Bliss. Well, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and adhering to new social distancing norms, the Institute of Creative Arts has launched a virtual format of the national festival of arts. This year’s theme is “Creative Resilience – Social Media is My Stage.” And according to ICA’s Youth Development Officer, Kim Vasquez teachers and parents from across the country, who had already been preparing their children between the ages of three to twenty-one prior to the lockdown, are submitting creative videos of all genres—from dancing to singing, poetry and even pantomimes. All entries are being posted on the Belize Festival of Arts Facebook page.


Kim Vasquez, Youth Development Officer, Institute of Creative Arts

Well you know in the performing arts, there is a saying that the show must go on. And so with that in mind, I said we had to find a way to make this happen so we’ve gone virtual this year. The theme is “Creative Resilience – Social Media is My Stage” and that means that we will be utilizing social media. the main page is the Belize Festival of Arts Facebook page and we will also have the entries up on YouTube as well.”


Duane Moody

“How is it happening? It’s the schools that are sending in entries?”


Kim Vasquez

Kim Vasquez

“Both. We realised that schools are out of course and when we put out the call for entries at the end of April, we had no idea how things would play out. But interestingly enough, we have a response from teachers who have continued to work with their students. Many of them, as you know, were already preparing for Festival of Arts in the traditional format. And so we have entries coming in through teachers, but wonderfully, we also have entries coming in from parents and we are seeing teens and youths taking the initiative to reach out to us on Facebook and say how can I get some help to put together my entry and so forth.”


Duane Moody

“Now in the past, it was also judged. How is that going to work out?”


Kim Vasquez

“Well that is also evolving because as you know in this time, you have to anticipate change. So we had said that we wanted to keep it as pressure free as possible. We were telling everybody just use what you have at home, recycle a past costume that you have from previous years, make your own props; use what you have at home as a stage or a backdrop. So we are thinking to see how we can just recognize the outstanding entries, but just like every year, everyone will get their certificate.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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