CARIFESTA 2017: Bringing the Best of the Caribbean’s Arts, Culture and Youth to Barbados

Every two years, CARICOM and CARIFORUM countries of the Caribbean and Latin America gather to celebrate the spirit of their people through the expressions of Art, Music, Food, Folklore, Theatre and Dance at the Caribbean Festival of Arts known as CARIFESTA.

From Thursday, Aug 17 to Sun, Aug 27, Barbados will be hosting the 13th Caribbean regional edition of this exciting Festival at the Barbados Community College involving the participation of more than four thousand artists, artistes and artisans under the theme: “Asserting Our Culture, Celebrating OurSelves.” 

Carifesta has its underpinnings in the inspirational staging of the first Caribbean Festival of Arts in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1952. The convening of a Festival in Trinidad in 1958 marked the creation of the West Indies Federation. In 1970, the idea of a grand Caribbean festival was conceived for a regional gathering of artists celebrating Guyana’s independence. This gave birth to a resplendent exposition of artistic forms and cultural artifacts that became the first Caribbean Festival of Arts in Guyana in 1972. CARIFESTA reinforces regional unity in the midst of the Caribbean’s splendid diversity.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is proud and honored to co-sponsor Carifesta in Barbados. Juan Carlos de la Hoz, the Inter-American Development Bank’s representative in Barbados and the IDB team in Bridgetown are working closely with the CARIFESTA organizers to use this unique event to support the Caribbean region’s cultural industries and to help provide educational and vocational opportunities for Caribbean youth.

We urge CARIFESTA attendees to drop by the IDB’s booth and attend CARIFESTA’s daily panels to learn about youth and entrepreneurship, tourism in the Caribbean, opportunities in the Caribbean’s cultural industries, green energy initiatives, and mentorship from a variety of experts and artists. CARIFESTA visitors will find a variety of artistic workshops ranging from crafts, visual art, animation, robotics, dance, theater, music, and fashion, so take a look at the calendar of events.

If you are an undergraduate or graduate student interested in IDB internship opportunities starting in January 2018, come join us at IDB’s booth at Carifesta and learn more.


About the authors

Lynn Saghir is a Communications and Creative Director for the Caribbean at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Before joining the IDB, she worked as a design, communications and marketing specialist at the World Bank and held multiple roles as creative director for leading global graphic design and advertising companies responsible for crafting, developing and conceptualizing big ideas, social media, strategies and pitches for multimillion dollars campaigns and ads. Lynn holds a Bachelor Degree in Graphic Design from the American University of Beirut, an MBA and a Masters in Management from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP). She has created a board game and founded the fashion brand Lylus. She received two Community Management certificates from the World Bank where she was awarded for high quality work, collaboration, commitment, and engagement. Lynn is a mother of 2 wonderful boys, Liam and Ryan. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, skiing, exploring new cultures, and walking by the ocean. Other than her love for adventure, she has a passion for music and movies.


Since joining the IDB in October 2005, Christopher Barton has been actively involved in planning and implementing several of the IDB’s key policy initiatives, including a multi-year outreach and communications strategy in support of a $70 billion General Capital Increase for the IDB. Mr. Barton helps manage the IDB’s legislative outreach efforts with the United States Congress and the Canadian Parliament. Since 2013, he has worked closely with the managers of the IDB’s Caribbean Country Department and the IDB’s Energy Division in the design and management of multi-national strategic communications programs using the IDB’s traditional media and social media platforms.


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