PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Jorien Wuite announced Thursday the appointment of Clara Reyes as new head of the Department of Culture. Reyes fills the vacancy left by the sudden passing of former department head Neville York last year.
Reyes has a distinguished background in the arts. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Choreography with specialisation in dance education kindergarten through 12th grade. Her career includes being head of the Department of Creative Artistic Formation at St. Maarten Academy’s Vocational Section, teacher at St. Maarten Academy Academic Section, part-time lecturer of Humanities at University of St. Martin, Performing Arts/Dance Instructor at Learning Unlimited Preparatory School, and teacher at Charlotte Brookson Academy for the Performing Arts.
Reyes is also co-founder and co-director of National Institute of Arts. She considers arts her calling and has many years of training in dance, visual arts, photography, film, musicals, drama and storytelling.
“We are delighted that we were able to fill the position with another St. Maarten great. Clara has big shoes to fill, as Neville was a man truly dedicated to advancing culture, not just in St. Maarten, but he took St. Maarten culture to the world. I am confident that she will bring her own creative style and ingenuity to the department and build on the work done by Neville while taking the department into a new era,” stated Wuite.
The Minister emphasised that now more than ever the Ministry needs all hands on deck to ensure a quick recovery process. An inventory after the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria last September revealed that several cultural monuments had been damaged, as well as critical cultural institutions including Philipsburg Jubilee Library, St. Maarten Museum and St. Maarten Archaeological Centre.
These and other damages are clearly outlined in the Ministry’s Resilience Plan along with timelines for restoration and repair. The Department of Culture team under Clara’s leadership will tackle these projects in addition to their regular duties. Wuite thanked the staff and Department of Culture acting head Daphne Thomas for their hard work and resilience in these past months.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/73729-reyes-appointed-head-of-culture