Published On: Thu, Nov 10th, 2022

The Prins Bernhard Culture Fund awards NIA for its efforts in the fields of Arts and Culture on St. Maarten

PHILIPSBURG — On November 9th, 2022, His Excellency, Mr. Ajamu Baly, Governor of St. Maarten addressed the attendees at the Prins Bernard Culture Funds Caribbean Region award ceremony for the National Institute of Arts (NIA) on the novelty culture has on the island of St. Maarten. This novelty of culture defines the commonalities of a nation and ignites the creativity for national innovation that safeguards and develops St. Maarten’s social and economic well-being.

At the ceremony, the Prins Bernhard Culture Fund Caribbean Region awarded The National Institute of Arts for its outstanding efforts in the fields of Arts and Culture. To date, NIA has created the first ever youth orchestra on St. Maarten and currently provides at least 2000 students with formal training in the arts.

The atmosphere of the ceremony provided a sense of love, passion, the importance of collaborations, consistency, and persistence it took to provide a centre for the arts on St. Maarten.

During the ceremony both founders of NIA, Miss Arlene Halley and Miss Clara Reyes share a heart-warming story on the humble beginnings of The National Institute of Arts. They both express sharing the same dream of creating a centre for the artistic expressions and professional development of local talents. They both even illustrated the inspiration of NIA’s logo through demonstrating a dance position called “tendu devant efface with arms in 4th position back layout”.

At the acceptance moment of the award, Miss Arlene Halley along with her board members and staff at her side expressed their gratitude for the funding NIA received after Hurricane IRMA and during Covid-19 from The Prins Bernhard Culture Fund. Moreover, Miss Arlene Halley stated that the funds covered the crucial operations of NIA at that time. As a result, NIA was able to cover the core activities and other crucial operating expenses.

Miss Clara Reyes, the Department Head of Culture under the Ministry of Education, Youth, Culture and Sports, expressed her intentions to support the continuous progression of the Arts and Culture through a multi-interdependent approach between local communities, civil society, and the Department of Culture.

The slogan of night “we are going to keep going strong”. NIA envisions itself to continuously expand its artistic excellence to become the Caribbean finest accredited institute of inter-disciplinary arts in education. This vision evokes the notion of positioning St. Maarten as a country that develops professional talents that will have the artistic interdisciplinary  acumen to become worldwide working professionals in the Arts.

Photo caption: His Excellency Governor Ajamu Baly (above). Top photo: Arlene Halley and Clara Reyes along with board members and staff at their side. See more photos below…