Now that Carnival is over the Division of Community Development and Culture is moving full speed ahead with plans for the continued improvement of the Tobago Heritage Festival 2011. Speaking at the post-executive media briefing last Friday (March 11, 2011), THA Secretary of Community Development and Culture Tracy Davidson-Celestine announced that the THA Community School for the Art Unit would be unfolding its Flashback for 2011 Training Programme from this month through May. She said the Unit will partner with tertiary institutions to provide training in visual arts and the performing arts in communities for leaders involved in the Heritage Festival and “it is intended to take us back into the history of our music and folk song, dances and drama and of course our oral traditions of Tobago.”
Davidson-Celestine boasted Flashback would be the “premier programme for teaching/learning of Tobago.
She said added to this, the Community School for the Art Programme aimed to “upgrade the research element of the Tobago cultural traditions and sensitise the communities and to prepare them for the Heritage Festival as well as the International Dance and Drumming Festival that are on the calendar for 2011”.
“There will be a lot of research, lot of training, presentation, documentation, community development and development of our Heritage Festival and other music and dance products within the community, Davidson-Celestine added.
She said the Division would also initiate other new programmes in communities this month. “There are now discussions with village councils to have training workshops in proposal writing and also fixed asset inventory keeping. Village councils have quite a number of assets that they keep for the Tobago House of Assembly and we want to ensure that there is the necessary training so that they can account for those assets on a yearly basis,” she said.
Davidson-Celestine also revealed that the Department of Community Development in partnership with the Department of Youth Affairs, and the Tobago Youth Council would be hosting a youth conference and training workshop on March 29 to provide community leaders with building their capacity and providing them with the necessary level of training, support and exposure that was needed to help them propel as leaders within their respective communities.
She said the Division was also planning to launch the Pride of Tobago Project with the theme: My Village, My Pride and My Responsibility, to encourage inter-disciplinary approach where different people, different groups, organisations, and institutions in particular can come together to learn from each other and collectively solve a problem affecting their community.