Chairperson of Prince Bernhard Culture Fund Caribbean Region Michèle Russel-Capriles (fifth from left) with representatives of a number of nature and cultural organisations in St. Maarten.
PHILIPSBURG–The board of the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund Caribbean Region PBCCG has allocated the total amount of US $110,000 from its Nature and Culture Relief Fund to a number of foundations and organizations in St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba.
“We know that this amount is in no way sufficient to cover the devastation caused by the hurricanes Irma and Maria in September, but it will at least alleviate the pressure to meet the specific and unique needs of the nature and culture community, including immediate recovery and preservation of artwork, tools, equipment and facilities,” the Prince Bernhard Fund said Tuesday.
The largest part of the funds will go towards 11 cultural and nature foundations in St. Maarten. Art Agency Foundation Axum will receive a subsidy for the repairs of the outside porch, bannisters and signs, as well as for the replacement of music instruments and damaged fans at its art café in Front Street. Artcraft Café art school of Tess Verheij at Old Street shopping mall, which was devastated in hurricane Irma, will receive a subsidy to restart the school and for rebuilding the art gallery. There will also be money made available for new air conditioners, kilns, lighting and furniture, as well as for art material. Subsidy for Dow’s Musical Foundation will go towards musical equipment, the rental of music school premises and overhead cost, mainly payments to teacher for the span of two to three months. Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) will be supported in the purchasing of new office equipment and furnishings for staff housing. St. Maarten Nature Foundation will be receiving a donation from the Fund for the replacement of 60 moorings. National Institute of Arts (NIA) will receive funds for the payment of teachers’ salaries for two to three months.
Prince Bernhard Fund’s grant will enable St. Maarten Archaeological Research Center SIMARC to salvage what is possible of its collection and to purchase and transport a container, boxes and shelves to house the collection.
Spaceless Gardens in St. Peters was allocated funding to rebuild concrete toilets, a sitting and teaching area and a shed.
Charlotte Brookson Academy of the Performance Arts will be supported in the purchasing of laptops and Indisu Dance Theater received some support that will go towards repairs of the dance school at the Megaplex Caribbean Cinemas in Cole Bay. Six mirrors, ceiling tiles, sheet rock and the hardwood floors of both studios need to be replaced.
InterVision Foundation/Seaside Nature Park in Cay Bay will receive a subsidy to get the paddocks for the animals back up and also to fix a toilet.
Three donations will go towards organisations in Saba. Saba Conservation Foundation will obtain a donation for the replacement of signs and interpretive displays and for the purchasing of construction material, tools and manpower.
Child Focus Foundation will be supported in the clean-up and restoration of the playground. Malofi Foundation in The Botton will be enabled to replace a computer.
St. Eustatius National Parks Stenapa will receive a donation for the rebuilding of the shade house in Myriam C. Schmidt Botanical Garden and for the cleaning and clearing of all 17 hiking trails on Statia with chainsaws.
These grants were made possible by an extra contribution of the Prince Bernhard Culture (PBC) Fund in the Netherlands.
“We are still in communication with other potential donor organisations, including PBC in the Netherlands, to contribute to Nature and Culture Relief Fund. We believe that our 64-plus years of experience on these islands, with people on the ground make us the most capable partner to aid the nature and culture [non-governmental organisations – Ed.] NGOs, under these circumstances,” chairperson of PBCCG Michèle Russel-Capriles stated.
“The PBCCG believes that the grants offered will be used to bring people together, foster collaboration and be a catalyst for further sustainable development and rebuilding efforts,” Russel-Capriles said.