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    Saturday, September 21, 2019-3:24:16P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Bill to create NMI Cultural Masters Award

REPRESENTATIVE Luis John Castro has pre-filed a bill that would establish a CNMI Cultural Masters Award for individuals who preserve the islands’ cultural traditions.

House Bill 21-60, Castro said, would pay tribute to these individuals’ cultural contributions to the community.

LJ Castro

The award will be given to accomplished practitioners of NMI folk and traditional arts as well as those who have helped preserve and advanced local culture.

According to the bill, the Arts Council would accept nominations for the award in April and every four years thereafter, and no more than four awards may be given during each award year.

The nominations for the award may be accepted from any party other than the Arts Council, members of its staff, management and board, or from a prospective award candidate.

These are the criteria: exemplary and active practice of a traditional art form; expertise, consummate skill, and longevity in the promotion and perpetuation of a traditional art form; contributions to the traditional arts in areas of appreciation, knowledge, teaching, advocacy and advancement; evidence of high artistic quality of work and mastery of traditional art forms via support materials; continuing artistic accomplishments; participation in one’s art form via practicing or teaching; artistic excellence; benefit to artistic traditions through teaching, advocacy, organizing, and preserving important repertoire; contribution to living cultural heritage and active engagement in preserving folk and traditional arts.

In an interview, Castro said this proposal was brought up in past legislatures but unfortunately the measure did not make it to the governor’s desk.

He said it is about time to move ahead and give deserving individuals due recognition.

Through the efforts of these individuals, he added, the components of local cultures “have withstood the gruesome test of time.”