At the recent Opening Reception for “Medium” and the Unveiling of the Gates Commission at the National Art Gallery, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Michael Pintard said in his view culture can have a calming effect if applied to issues of concern currently being dealt with in society. For example, in the ongoing fight against crime Minister Pintard said: “If you take the young man who has a case of self-hatred – which enables him to take the life of someone who looks identical to him, who sounds just like him – and you were to introduce him to a setting like this, where he is able to recognize skills that he has that have never been validated in the society, he begins to see the world differently,” Minister Pintard said. “He begins to explore certain things in his mind and, more importantly, in his heart, he – or she – has an epiphany.”
Minister Pintard said that what his Ministry is doing is asking individuals in society to embrace the creative within themselves. He added that it could aid in taking the thousands of “disconnected” young people and reconnect them to themselves through the Arts, presenting Bahamian society with a reasonable chance of “doing something transformative” in The Bahamas. Minister Pintard reiterated that it was important to use art as a “national development tool” that helps Bahamian society see the value of the industry and an image of themselves that they could be in love with and embrace. “It is art that helps us to dismantle the xenophobia that exists in so many societies in The Bahamas, that helps us to look beyond the socio-economic brackets and embrace people from all strata,” he said.
Minister Pintard also suggested that art is the “glue” that helps to bring Bahamian society together. “Let us continue to fund the Arts,” Minister Pintard said to patrons, in particular, that evening. “I honestly believe that we can start a revolution in this country,” he said. “We wish for our young people to pursue their passion and, of course, to make their passion pay their bills. “We have far too many surgeons holding a scalpel when they would really rather be holding a paintbrush or a torch to cut a piece of iron – far too many persons who are displaced because they have not had enough ‘face time’ with themselves, quiet time, and courage to pursue their passion.”