The Steel Pan, traditionally performed by Saint Lucia’s disadvantaged communities during the carnival festivities, is today an ailing art form. It attracts very little interest from the younger generation on the island, despite its potential to create jobs in the cultural sectors.
Mandated to help the government implement its cultural priorities, the Cultural Development Foundation gauged the opportunity to revitalize the Steel Pan performance as a way of tackling youth unemployment and crime.
The organization trained 250 young people, rehabilitated steel pan community centers in some of the island’s most deprived areas, and organized a Festival where the novice musicians had their debut. As a result, many participants are now playing in local events and are earning money from their performance.