Powerful, passionate and full of potential were words used to describe the incredible performances of young people at St. Kitts and Nevis’ inaugural Youth Talk Through Arts (YTTA) showcase held on Saturday, February 09.
Sixty-four youth creatively expressed themselves through dance, song, drama, poetry, film, photography and spoken word to a packed and appreciative audience that filled the Sir Cecil Jacobs Auditorium at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. Issues addressed included democracy, how the media portrays women, hate crimes, gang violence, unity, and HIV/AIDS, as well as a host of family-related concerns such as incest, abortion and men targeting school girls.
Veteran music teacher Pamela Wall explained that she was “very pleasantly surprised” at the performances. … “I really didn’t know what to expect and … I must congratulate you,” she told the young persons who came on stage for a rap session after the last act. “I think all the performances were top [notched].” “Kudos and congratulations” were extended to the performers by G. Deslyn Richards, while Dave Connor, who earlier spoke of the power and passion of the evening, also commended the planning and execution of the event. Elvis Alford said there was no doubting the “conviction” behind the performances.
Prime Minister the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas attended the show and stressed that it was very entertaining and had “enthused” him as the leader of the twin-island Federation.
“The investment we have been making in our young people clearly … has not been in vain,” he stated, highlighting the quality level of the performances. “There is need in my opinion for the government to further invest in an arts center/theatre because what we are seeing here really could very well be the sprinkling and the foundation of … a professional or semi-professional arts movement because there is natural talent here among our young people and their ability to display their talent on stage in my opinion, is unmatched.”
Prime Minister Douglas also explained that the forceful messages from the young people cannot be dismissed.
“The issues … are impactful to policy makers in government and otherwise and must be taken into consideration,” he stressed. “… Sixty-five percent of our population can be considered as young people. This is a very powerful message that is being sent and the call therefore for young people to be represented across the various strata of society is a very powerful demand that cannot be ignored.”
The YTTA Showcase is a project of the Youth Think Tank of the Caribbean. It is sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and to date has been held in Barbados and St. Lucia as well.
Local Youth Think Tank Representative Dillon Webbe expressed pleasure with the staging and thanked the many partners for supporting this initiative. He made special mention of the Department of Youth Empowerment in St. Kitts and the Division of Youth Services in Nevis. Lime was also singled out for providing live streaming of the event.