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Apr 3, 2006

ICA celebrates third anniversary

Story PictureCulture: It’s the one area of government activity that consistently receives high marks and has not–at least not yet–been tainted by scandal. This week the folks involved in sustaining today’s arts friendly environment took time out to celebrate. News Five’s Jacqueline Woods has the story.

William Neal, Director, Institute of Creative Arts
?Today we are celebrating the arts. The Institute of Creative Arts as the institute charged with the responsibility of promoting, preserving the arts, we decided that on this day what we will do is try to bring schools and members of the community together to really promote the whole arts, you know.?

Jacqueline Woods
Today?s promotion included poetry, song, and dance. According to ICA?s Director William Neal, the work at ICA has been challenging, but exciting.

William Neal
?I think that has been the main challenge for any kind of artistic expression in Belize, just getting the audience mobilised to actually come out and support the local artists. So I think that is one of the main challenges that we have here at ICA, just to get the wider society to appreciate the artists that we have in Belize.?

The celebration is in conjunction with the National Institute of Culture and History?s third anniversary. It also included displays by the three other parts of NICH: the Museum of Belize, Houses of Culture, and the Institute of Social and Cultural Research.

Robert Hulse, Museum Historian, MOB
?The response has been wonderful; we have had over twenty thousand visitors since the fifth of February 2002.?

?We want them to see the publications that are published in Belize, Belizean information. The snapshots will show the history of Belize, some thing that they maybe have not heard about, but today they will see.?

On the south side, it is estimated that over ten thousand people visit the House of Culture every year. I.S.C.R.?s Researcher, Ritamae Hyde, says since the House of Culture, formerly Government House, opened its doors to the public in 1998 they have been promoting culture and the arts through a number of initiatives.

Ritamae Hyde, Researcher, I.S.C.R.
?You find that sometimes some people come to the House of Culture, and they say wow, this is our first time here. They never knew that they can actually come and visit the grounds, because when it was the Government House it was very elitist, only a certain status of people within the society, people who had a certain status, only these people could actually visit the grounds. So you find out that some people they just come and enjoy the architecture, that old colonial style.?

?We have workshops, we have art exhibitions, we use the building for private functions. We rent the building as well for weddings, receptions, cocktails, you name it, you can rent the building for that function.?

Back on the stage, things promise to improve as ICA works towards strengthening the expressive arts.

William Neal
?ICA has a vision, and the vision really is to improve the arts across the board. By partnering with different groups in the community, that?s one way we hope to do that but also by bringing in international artists in, collaborating for example like Friday we did with MIAB. NICH partnered with MIAB and we had international artists taking the stage here.?

Jacqueline Woods for News Five.

Today’s festivities included a primary school story telling competition, secondary school elocution contest, and an open poetry face-off.

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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