Throughout the country students are participating in their local high school festival of arts. The shows are a precursor to the National Festival of Arts which is showcased at the Bliss in June. However, at the district level, the Belize District High School Festival of Arts is being hosted at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall. The theme for this year is Celebrating the Talent of Our Youths. According to Leroy Green, the National Coordinator for Expressive Arts, it’s the third year since the Ministry of Education has been reviving the festival but the schools are not doing enough to promote the talent of the youths.

Leroy Green, National Coordinator for Expressive Arts, Ministry of Education

Leroy Green

“The ceremony is what you really call in Belizean terms, ‘pilinky,’ in terms of audience even though invitations had gone out to all the schools asking them to send a delegation of forty to attend the opening ceremony this morning. My feelings right now are a bit ambivalent about the whole thing in the sense that you had two high schools I need to really mention who for the first time in the Festival of Arts have come out—they are the Belize Rural High School from Rancho Dolores and Kings College from Santana. They came all the way from those villages this morning to be a part of the festival for the first time. And yet we have the ones in the city who didn’t turn up any at all even though some of them were confirmed with me on Thursday.”

Jose Sanchez

“Traditionally what kind of performances would we see at the district level?”

Leroy Green

“Well the actual entries—we have ten schools who actually entered the performing section. And in the performing section we have dance, drama and music; all of those are covered. The creative writing entries have increased somewhat. This year we tried something new to kinda pep up the festival. We had a Belize District Poster Competition. Each high school could have sent in three posters, notices about those were sent out January—from December sorry—to date, I have one poster on my desk and each school could have sent in three. We had a nationwide jungle competition to become the signature tune for the festival this year. Each district could have sent in two, we received about four or five and out of those several did not meet the guidelines, but we are pleased to say Ladyville Technical in the persons of Anwar Bradley and Dario Torres won that. And I must say thanks to NICH once again for providing the prize money for that winning jingle.”

The Belize District Festival takes place at Holy Redeemer Parish Hall at six thirty p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.

Channel 5