Performing arts group travelling around Guyana, raising awareness on social ills
Unique Arts Entertainment, a local performing arts group, will travel around Guyana for the rest of this year and will utilise the creative arts to raise awareness on social ills such as domestic violence, the stigma around mental health, and trafficking in persons.
On Saturday night, the group’s “Painting the Picture” initiative was launched at the Regency Suites in Georgetown. Executive Director, Kelton Jennings explained that through the support of UNESCO, the group will be able to travel and raise awareness on the prevalent issues.
Jennings acknowledged that many people might wonder how the arts- drama, dance, poetry, and song- can raise awareness of these serious societal ills.
But, he said, “A lot of persons know what domestic violence is or mental health, they know the words, but they don’t know what it means or how you can look to identify those.
“What we’re doing is using the art form to draw persons in, to tell a strong story.”
Therefore, the group of performers will leverage their creative abilities to dismantle the stigma around speaking out against violence and the societal ills and spread positive messages of help and encourage people to seek out the necessary help for themselves or others.
Jennings also explained that the performances that will be done across the country until the end of this year and some interviews will be compiled into a documentary. This documentary, he said, will be used by UNESCO in its awareness programmes in the future.
At Saturday’s launch, the performing group illustrated just what they will be doing countrywide by putting on a series of impactful performances and inviting guests to contribute.
At the beginning of the programme, there was a concerted effort made to showcase Guyana’s cultural diversity and the strength that lies in the unity of people. Thereafter, there were performances by poets- Elsie Harry, who spoke out against domestic violence and abusive relationships, and Dahlia Richmond, who spoke about self-love. Local fashion designer Randy Madray also opened up about his mental health journey.