SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – This year, the Annual Sport & Creative Industries Open House will be presented as a virtual online event via the Facebook pages of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the Department of Sports & the Department of Culture on September 14th. This is mainly because Sint Maarten and the global community are experiencing a pandemic that has brought about many restrictions that affect the regular format of how the open house has been presented in the past.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport through the Department of Sports, the Department of Culture, the National Sports Institute (NSI), the St. Maarten Sports Olympic Federation (SMSOF) and the National Sports Organizations (NSO) is happy to present the Annual Sport & Creative Industries Open House under the theme #FOR CULTURE and #SPORTSMATTER.
Jonelle Richardson, Head of the Department of Sports explains, “The Sport Open House, first started back in 2015 when the Department saw the need to increase the awareness of the St. Maarten people on the many possibilities for participation in sport. In 2018, the concept expanded to include the Culture and Arts stakeholders. As we are currently experiencing a major pandemic with the expectations for people to stay at home to stay safe, we saw the opportunity to be innovative in continuing with the awareness campaign virtually.”
Video presentations have been created to demonstrate, promote and encourage persons to become active and join an organization that may best fit their interests and goals in life.
“Through this avenue the sport organizations have been given an opportunity to highlight their sport and the general public has been given the opportunity to experience what sport and the creative industry has to offer in a safe environment,” said Ms Richardson about the virtual Sport & Creative Industries Open House for 2020.
For persons that may not be familiar with the Creative Industries sector, Clara Reyes Head of the Department of Culture explained how persons could get involved in this developing sector. “The Creative Industry is happening as we speak. Some may recognize it in the Visual and Performing Arts; however, the Culture and Creative Industry encompasses so much more. Culture Creative Industries consist of four core pillars; they are the Arts, Media, Heritage and the Creative services. While the Arts form the foundation upon which the Industry is built, how we monetize the arts and creativity is what leads us into Industry as an economic contributor to the country. The creative person has the ability to reinvent themselves and their product to best serve the times we are in”
When asked how organizations can cope and operate during the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, Ms. Reyes replied, “The phrase “Necessity is the mother of invention” is very apt to describe the creative individual or organization that can adapt to changing trend or be ahead of the curve”. Most importantly, the COVID-19 Pandemic has afforded us multiple opportunities as creatives to maximize the digital platform. Organizations are encouraged to revisit their activities, modify and innovate their product to meet the new developments.”
The Department of Sports & the Department of Culture encourages the sport and creative organizations to take advantage of future Government initiatives, which provides them a platform free of cost to highlight who they are and what services their organizations can offer the community.