Among the additions to this year’s National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) is the inclusion of a number of foreign adjudicators sourced from various Caribbean territories and the Barbadian Diaspora.
Chief Cultural Officer of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Mrs. Andrea Wells remarked that the Foundation already contracts a well qualified and knowledgeable team of local judges each season. This decision to augment the 2019 judging panels would simply bring another level of valuable expertise to the finals of the competitions and expose our creatives to a cadre of influential persons operating in a broader international sphere.
A total of seven foreign judges will be added across all the disciplines, and confirmations have already been made in the performing arts. In Theatre, director, playwright and university lecturer, Trinidadian Rawle Gibbons is expected to join the panel. In the discipline of Dance, former NCF Cultural Officer for Dance, Heather Forde-Butcher, who now lives in Tortola, British Virgin Islands will be offering her expertise. In the field of Music, the NCF welcomes qualified musician and member of the Oxford and Cambridge Music Club, Trinidadian Enrique Ali.
Essential to these arrangements is the agreement for all judges to provide training for participants through workshops and/or showcases during the period that will improve their skills.
Most of the performing arts sessions will happen around the first few days of December. For Music, master classes for pianists and accompanists, as well as performance techniques for choirs will be on offer; while in Theatre and Dance, the focus will be on Caribbean forms in performance and on contemporary and jazz workshops respectively.
Having each individual offer his/her experiences, share comparisons with regional and/or international standards, gain an opportunity to witness local talent and to impart some knowledge through workshops and master classes can only augur well for the festival.