A View from My Periphery

There are many things in life that one can be sure of. One thing is for certain, none of us can escape as creative individuals: the one chance to become the light at the end of the tunnel; inspiring, educating and becoming lifelines for our future generations, and generations to come through the use of the creative arts.

Volunteering my god given talents to the team of Necessary Arts School (N.A.S.), has given me an in depth opportunity to grow as a mentor and teacher of dance. I was encouraged and able to impart my knowledge and years of experience of the theater arts to the participants of these two communities. Reach the Unreachable manifested it’s double meaning in reference to both topographical distance as well as interpersonal realization.

Our journey began on Saturday 22nd of July, 2017, with lots of ‘impromptu-ness’, which was referred to by the director of the project, Naima Thompson, as the “and then there were…?” section of the tour.

Being able to share my pearls to those lovely individuals at both Grande Riviere Anglican Primary School and The Yahweh Foundation located in Buccoo, Tobago, positioned me in an arena though different from my own, a culturally similar environment, has opened up my eyes to the immeasurable talent expressed by the young males, in these areas mentioned.

Kalifi NAS Workshop 02

The young ladies, not to be out done, also embraced these series of workshops, with a high degree of self-learning.

The many faces from the ages of 3 to senior ages, enclasped our activities, thereby creating a sphere for learning, creative learning, that is. Most of the young men in these areas seemed very enthusiastic about learning new work, by engaging actively, thereby placing themselves as perfect cultural representatives for their community.

Many projects such as these, offer us the participating audience, t an accurate intuitive understanding of the children who are our future. One thing for sure I know, is that because of their willingness to learn and grasp the information delivered to them, continuing to lead the way of empowering their or other communities would be the ideal desired outcome for Necessary Arts.

Grande Riviere and Buccoo embraced the N.A.S. volunteering team with eager enthusiastic faces. During these workshops my perception of this project brought to my attention that the outcome of these activities will be based on their ability to accept and display a transferred innate strength, shrouded with human adjectives, such as, fear, struggle, introvert, and oblivion.

Our challenge was to create scenarios using our artistic skills to impart an intellectual, magical moment, depicting the truism behind the meaning of arts in education.

N.A.S. can be described as an everyday story forged into art. And this description can be seen from the very changes experienced by these charges who utilized voice, movement, art, script writing, prop making and self directing, to create scenarios reminiscent/reflective of their communities.

I observed our international team which comprised of artistes and teachers who traveled from places such as, China, Australia, Europe, Dubai and Trinidad and Tobago, offering their services as volunteers, so that the vision and motto of N.A.S. Stimulating Minds Through Artistic Expression can be upheld at the highest level possible.

I observed the entire team’s usage of the toolbox system, that is, where we supplied our participants with tools with the expectation that they in turn can use these instruments, to edify, educate and simultaneously entertain others in and around their community.

My goal in this project was to impart skills to these participants through movement, which will afford them to become more confident, risk taking promoters of neighbourhood unity, thereby creating an environment of positive community spirit.

Kalifi NAS Workshop 03

The services afforded by both the team and myself can be seen as a wonder drug, which when physically and mentally absorbed can provide the best possible channel of learning and processing through the creative arts. The best any community can get.

There is a great old tradition of community spirit that has gone by the wayside. N.A.S. and their creative team of volunteers, through the workshops at Grande Riviere and Buccoo, Tobago, has ignited a flame and rekindled this saying by injecting humanitarian life into these communities.

Through the minds and bodies of these participants leaving these changes by imparting life skill tools, set the scene through a highly creative intellectual makeover, which in turn allow these participants through these activities, to create the surrounding they so desired and deserved.

The scenery at both communities was breathtaking and the consequences of these workshops add to the beauty of this chapter, in this life’ movie, filmed during the period of 22nd of July – 28th of July, 2017.

Memories of this project will forever be etched in the annals of my consciousness. Definitely a time well donated.