Chief Executive Officer of Pinelands Creative Workshop (PCW) Rodney Grant says the organization needs significant investment if it is to truly benefit Barbadian youth.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the relaunch of the cultural show 1627 And All That, Grant said that despite winning many awards at the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) over the past two decades, the organization had not attracted any significant investment.
“Pinelands is one of these models, these social experiments, that I would say has not been significantly invested in,” he said.
The PCW head referred to a $1.2 million grant given to the organization by the previous Owen Arthur-led administration back in 1997, but did not go into allegations that most of the money was not used for the upliftment of the organization, but to purchase bicycles which were donated throughout the community.
“Yah know everybody talks about the $1.2 million that [we received] from [that] previous administration,” Grant said, adding that PCW was a social experiment that back then wanted to create a national programme.
He also addressed why his organization had not gone into communities and done charity work.
“Over the years, persons have asked why Pinelands [doesn’t] go into this community and assist, but it takes resources. These people that you are asking to go into the community and work, they [should] be able to live and to pay their way in this life. They just can’t be out there working, volunteering and they have children and mortgages and can’t pay them. So, if you want this social experiment to be transplanted in communities around Barbados, then there has to be a significant long-term investment,” Grant contended.
Meantime, the special projects coordinator at PCW, Sophia Greaves Broome, said the organization was seeking to become a holistic service for the youth of Barbados.
“We need to be able to sustain the organization beyond our core members . . . . We have incorporated music, technology and education [to] ensure a broader package. We try to ensure that we provide a wholesome development process to the extent that the organization is no longer seeing ourselves as a dance company anymore. We are looking at development in a holistic form,” she said.
Pinelands Creative Workshop will be one of the acts for 1627 And All That which will be held at Golden Sands Hotel on August 20 at 7:30 p.m.