In a passionate plea for the advancement of the arts in Dominica, Anita Bully, the wife of the late cultural icon Alwin Bully, has rallied for increased government and societal investment in educational arts.
Recognizing the profound impact of the arts on culture and identit, During an exclusive interview with Dominica News Online (DNO) Mrs. Bully emphasised the need for concerted efforts to ensure the preservation and growth of Dominica’s artistic heritage.
As part of the Alwin Bully Foundation’s commitment to honouring his legacy, Mrs Bully has highlighted the urgent need for more extensive government involvement in not only promoting but investing in the creative art industry here in Dominica. One approach she mentions is the provision of scholarships in the visual and performing arts, covering fields such as dance, drama, painting, theatre management, and film.
“More work needs to be done by the government in pushing arts,” Mrs Bully asserted.
“We have been asking them to at least give one scholarship annually in the visual and performing arts, but this hasn’t been done.”
She emphasised the importance of education possibilities extending beyond administrative, medical, and legal professions in a varied society. The cultural advocate also believes that there is little incentive for young people to pursue artistic vocations, owing to a tendency to minimise their importance. She underscored the economic benefits of art investment, using Trinidad’s flourishing Carnival film industry as an example of how expenditures in cultural arts can be profitable.
“We have schools right here in the region, to include Cuba, Cave Hill in Barbados, as well as Jamaica and Trinidad who offer major courses in the arts,” she highlighted.
“And what we don’t realise is that this is a money-making industry. Can you imagine in 10 years? We could have people here doing so many remarkable things.”
Her call for greater support extends beyond governmental bodies. She emphasises the importance of the business community joining forces to foster artistic growth.
“This is also another major concern to us because it seems like the majority of our businesses are only supporting sewo and forgetting about the arts and the culture,” she declared.
“Is that what we want Dominica to be recognized for? I mean, come on. We talk about ourselves as a Nature Island. We talk about ourselves as the cultural capital of the Caribbean, but if we don’t do something about it, we’re going to lose that. So we need to get on the path to putting value behind initiatives such as these,” she added.
Mrs Bully praised her late husband’s efforts to create opportunities for individuals to explore their artistic interests throughout the interview.
As such, she stated that artist training and development is an important component of the Alwin Bully Foundation’s goal to carry on this legacy.
With the allure of technology often overshadowing cultural pursuits, She went on to express concern over the youth’s increasing reliance on phones and urges for a return to appreciating meaningful experiences that foster personal growth.
To bridge the gap, Mrs Bully is hoping that parents will use the opportunity this weekend to bring their children to see the reenactment of her husband’s play, ‘The Nite Box – A Caribbean Murder Story Mystery,’, which will be performed by La Cour des Arts de la Dominique Inc.
“It’s a very intriguing play. One which is full of suspense and one which my husband loved,” Mrs Bully stated. “It was one of the longest-running plays in Dominica; it ran for countless weeks, five nights a week with two shows on a Sunday. But that was when the theatre was very popular and the audience was looking forward to it.”
She highlighted that another group has also expressed interest in making a film out of it. Curtis Clarendon, the play’s director, stated in an earlier interview with DNO that the production, which will take centre stage on August 11, 12, and 13, with nightly performances at 8 p.m at the Goodwill Primary School Auditorium, promises to be a dynamic and emotionally charged portrayal.
He stated that the decision to present the play stems from a strong desire to honour Bully’s extraordinary achievements in Dominica’s theatre scene and beyond.
By highlighting Bully’s legacy, the theatrical production hopes to reinforce the significance of preserving and safeguarding local artistic treasures.
Looking ahead, the collaboration between La Cour des Arts de la Dominique Inc. and the Alwin Bully Foundation aims to not only continue bringing Bully’s work to life but also to explore the works of other playwrights that can propel the art form forward.
Chad Zamore, Maria ‘Lady Star’ Stedman, Jonathan Theophille, Yanson Hilaire, Leona John, Adella David, Gael ‘King Trilla G’ JnoBaptiste, Sky Casimir, and Kerwin Jorvan JnoBaptiste are among the cast members who have promised to deliver an unforgettable performance that will resonate with audiences of all ages.
Tickets cost $45 and can be purchased at BullsEye Pharmacy, the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC), or through cast members.