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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Feb 8, 2018 - 7:18:08 PM

‘Culture In the Park’ in Inner City This Saturday
By Eric Rose
Feb 8, 2018 - 7:12:54 PM

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Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Michael Pintard speaks, on February 8, 2018, during a press conference at the Ministry to announce the launch of a ‘Culture in The Park’ programme in the Bain and Grants Town area, on Saturday, February 10, from 3pm to 9pm. Also pictured is Director of Culture Rowena Sutherland. (BIS Photo/Eric Rose)

NASSAU, The Bahamas – As part of their continued community outreach initiatives, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture announced, on February 8, 2018, that it will launch a ‘Culture in The Park’ programme in the Bain and Grants Town area, on Saturday, February 10, from 3pm to 9pm.

“The Government has indicated its intention to revitalise the Over-The-Hill community.  One component of that is to ensure that culture – our culture – is expressed throughout the inner-city area, that we find the “gems,” that we give voice to the many talented Bahamians who reside in these communities,” Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Michael Pintard said, during the press conference announcing the event.

He added that a crucial component of that was to engage young Bahamians in this initiative.

“The majority of our population is below the age of 27 and it is important for us to engage our young people -- to create opportunities for them, to help them understand the youth organizations that exist, so they could participate in [them] -- and to make sure that their interaction with Government is not through their interaction with the police or Social Services; but through a number of positive programmes that exist in various agencies – such as ours,” Minister Pintard said.

“Culture is in the way we speak, in the food we eat, in the way we live,” Director of Culture Rowena Sutherland said.  “We are excited to be driving this initiative with Youth to encourage our communities to create safe spaces, cultural spaces; and we intend to transform the George Brown Park into such a space.”

One of the strengths of this Ministry has historically been the Youth division's ability to put on entrepreneurial initiatives that allow young persons to access resources, Minister Pintard said.

Acting Senior Youth Officer Ingrid Sears-Deveaux said that the Youth department was pleased to partner with Cultural Affairs in the initiative.  She added that Youth intends to bring a number of youth organizations into the Bain and Grants Town area to interact with residents, giving out literature and other paraphernalia for possible recruitment.

“The idea behind the Youth Department partnering with this initiative is to get all young people in these communities engaged in wholesome and positive youth activities,” she said.

“So, we want you (the public) to come out and find out about the various opportunities that exist through entering one of the many programmes that we have,” Minister Pintard said.

“Moving forward you can expect to see many other community initiatives from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture,” Director Sutherland said.

Project Coordinator Henry Higgins pointed out that members of the Ministry had been on the ground in the community for about five months interacting with residents, and added that it will be a “grand celebration” that day, showcasing the community's “diverse, rich culture.”

“On the park that day we have invite all of our church groups, all of our school groups, all of our community groups in Bain and Grants Town to come to George Brown Park to showcase their culture – showcase through dance, music, drama, poetry, mime, rap – whatever we do in The Bahamas, that is what we will showcase,” he said.

He added that artists, straw vendors and artisans will also be showcasing their talents, as well as traditional Bahamian food.

“This is going to be an exciting time for the people of Bain and Grants Town, and we invite the entire Bain and Grants Town community to come out and support Bain and Grants Town,” Mr. Higgins said.

“We are not doing anything brand new,” Minister Pintard stated.  “There is a long tradition in Bain and Grants Town of outstanding community workers.

He noted the work that Rev. C. B. Moss is doing in the community to preserve and champion the positive and historically-important facets of the community.

“We are partnering with a number of 'unsung heroes and heroines' in order for us to jointly address the issues that face these communities,” Minister Pintard pointed out.  “This will be coupled with an initiative between this Ministry and the Ministry of Health to help create green spaces, where residents could exercise and recreate.”

“We are excited about what will happen on February 10th, and we are asking every right-thinking Bahamian who wishes to join in the festivities – or those who are from Bain (and Grants) Town to return home and work with us,” he said.

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