For two weeks, the National Festival of Arts will feature creative arts performances in drama, song, music and dance from preschoolers, primary school children, secondary students and even teachers. It is part of the Institute of Creative Arts and the Ministry of Education’s goal to incorporate the creative arts into the education curriculum – that is art education.  Since Wednesday, the national festival of arts showcase has been ongoing at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and today, primary schools from Toledo, Belmopan and Stann Creek took the stage with their golden performances. News Five spoke with Kim Vasquez of ICA about today’s showcase and upcoming events.

Kim Vasquez, Program Coordinator, ICA

“We ended off the primary school section today with Toledo, Belmopan and Stann Creek on stage. Tomorrow at ten a.m., we have for the first time in the national festival of arts, the preschool golden showcase. It is the first time that the preschool was adjudicated this year and they have their very own showcase at ten o’clock tomorrow; all the districts will be here tomorrow at the Bliss. And then we go into our second week next week where we also have a number of events next week under the festival of arts.”

Duane Moody

“Talk to us about the importance of having this event that has been an annual thing.”

Kim Vasquez

“This has been an annual thing since the revival of the festival of arts. It is a partnership that goes hand in hand with the work that the Ministry of Education does through the district festival of arts. It makes up what is the bulk of the art education for the students in the primary, preschool and even the high schools and this is the national level that is taking place now in Belize City. This happens every year and we normally have a full calendar of events. Next week, for example we also have a teachers got talent competition. We also have a section for teachers in the festival of arts. We also end off the festival with our secondary schools competition. Yes, it is first and foremost about art education, but we do tend to want to move towards a competition based festival because we want to push students to excel and we want to make it lively and we believe the spirit of competition is healthy. It is not something that we should shy away from so more and more we are steering the festival towards competition. We’ve done it with the high schools. We no longer showcase the high schools; the high schools are actually a competition. Last year we did a teacher’s festival and the students enjoyed coming up to support their teachers. And we said, okay so last year was just a showcase, this year it will be a competition and the teachers can win prizes for their schools and themselves. So we think that the spirit of competition is good and so we are moving slowly towards a competition based festival, but yes, it is mainly about the education aspect of it.”

The high school competition held as part of the national festival of arts showcase will be held on Friday, June third, at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts at seven p.m. 

Channel 5