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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.

By Christopher Barton, Lynn Saghir and Dana Payne

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