Anthony outlines heritage preservation, youth development priorities
Guyana Chronicle
January 18, 2007

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THE preservation, revival and promotion of Guyana’s heritage sites and the establishment of broad-based programmes for youth development are among government priorities for this year, said Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony.

He told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that a heritage preservation programme has been undertaken by the National Trust, to improve many local landmarks, including the Dutch site on Fort Island in the Essequibo River.

That is expected to be ready this year and, according to Anthony, will be a significant boost to tourism because it would add to the visitors’ experience.

The minister said the trust is embarking, as well, on publications highlighting heritage locations through more than 15 different brochures, which are particularly informative to secondary school students.

Anthony said the booklets will include photographs and information on cannons used in war during historic times, several of which can be seen in front of the Public Buildings in Brickdam and Police Headquarters, at Eve Leary, in Georgetown, too.

The minister said the documentation will highlight the symbolic significance of cannons and educate many who may see them but are unaware of their history.

Other publications would focus on Guyanese craft and techniques demonstrated and perpetuated mainly by the indigenous peoples, Anthony said.

He announced that the National Museum will host a number of exhibitions, especially during the mega Cricket World Cup (CWC) matches.

Anthony said an exhibition showcasing the history of cricket in Guyana is listed for display at the museum showing never before seen photos of many prominent veteran Guyana cricket stars.

He stated that, under his helm, the Theatre Guild building in Kingston, which was once the hub of theatrical performances but had lost its glamour, will return to its full potential through a $7.6 billion restoration project.

Anthony had previously expressed concern over the deterioration of the edifice which was the ‘Mecca of Theatre’ in the Caribbean but is now confident that it will be restored.

The plan caters for the establishment of three theatres and a drama school to offer training and facilitate networking with the rest of the Caribbean to enhance the potential of artistes and create employment for several others, GINA said.

His ministry will also be creating a more encouraging environment in the arts through the strengthening of programmes at the Burrowes School of Art and the National Dance School, he said.

Anthony said the Dance School will host a series of workshops on the various art forms, some at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) in Georgetown and others in different regions.

The Burrowes School will, from this year, sponsor annual shows that are likely to attract a number of other artistes from the Caribbean and youths would get the chance to display their talent at different art galleries.

Youth groups in various communities countrywide will be targeted by the ministry for strengthening and plans would be implemented to empower them in group/club formation, organisation, management and constitution, GINA said.