Malachi Simmons has been involved with previous Appreciative Inquiry sessions. *Photo supplied
Malachi Simmons has been involved with previous Appreciative Inquiry sessions. *Photo supplied

THURSDAY, MAY 10: Almost 80 young people were invited to share their views on what they consider to be authentically Bermudian at a Youth Conversation organized by The Performing Arts Centre Project.

The group met at the Berkeley Institute on Sunday as part of an Appreciative Inquiry session that the project sees as essential to the success of its proposed performing arts centre. The aim is that by holding a series of community meetings, the public will have a better say in what they would like to see from a new performing arts centre in Bermuda.

Tiffany Paynter, community facilitator at The Performing Arts Centre Project and organizer of the Youth Conversation, was excited by the young people’s passion for the performing arts, their love of Bermuda and their keen desire for opportunities to collaborate.

“There were many highlights for me on Sunday but there were a few that really helped me to feel and know that our community holds a bigger vision for this project than you might expect,” said Ms Paynter. “And the bigger vision is that this centre should not just be a place to house performing arts, but rather should be a home for performing artists.

“Graphic designer Stephan Johnstone spoke about the conservatism that often stifles artists and asked that we ensure that the proposed centre inspires and supports artists to dare to be different.

“So often we hear that it takes a village to raise a child. Dany Pen of the Bermuda National Gallery spoke about unstable family environments leaving young people feeling more isolated. She envisioned a place that is truly and genuinely invested in being that village.”

A sample of comments from participants at the Youth Conversation can be viewed here at http://youtu.be/VP3JnbYkB9c