Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has commended the members of the Society of Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN) for their contributions toward promoting arts,culture and entertainment in the state.
Ambode said their contributions had helped to raise the bar of the sector in the state.
He spoke at the 3rd edition of SPAN Festival themed “My Beat, My City’’ -“llu Mi, Ilu Mii’’ held at the Muri Okunola Park in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the sic-day celebration is part of the activities marking the 50 years of the creation of Lagos State.
Ambode was represented by the Commissioner for Culture, Lagos State, Mrs Adebimpe Akinsola, who received an award for his contributions to the development of arts and culture in the state.
“I am humbled that the Board of Directors of the Society of the Performing Art in Nigeria (SPAN) has considered my administration worthy to be conferred with the special recognition award for our contribution to the promotion of arts and culture as a platform of economic empowerment in Lagos State.
“The award is also to showcase the undiscovered talents that are abounding amongst our youths in the creative and entertainment sector.
“Indeed, I believe that the entertainment sector is a veritable goldmine that should be exploited for the benefit of our people with the dual purpose of preserving our cultural heritage.
“My administration will go the extra length to promote our cultural heritage on the global stage,’’ he said.
Ambode also said that construction works had begun on the new art theatres in the five administrative divisions of the state.
“Also, the Lagos State Government is collaborating with the Federal Government to reconstruct the National Museum, Onikan, to a global standard, and provide it with cultural artifact and other items of historic significance.
“Meanwhile, we have put in place strategies to reposition and return the National Theatre, an iconic cultural edifice that had hosted many performances to its glorious days,’’ he said.
The governor said that the special recognition would spur his team to do more in the promotion and preservation of cultural values of the citizens for the benefits of the younger generation.
The chairperson of the SPAN festival, Sarah Fadoul, in her address stated the goals of the organization.
“Our ultimate vision in SPAN is to build a state of the arts’ centre on our parcel of land in Eko Atlantic.
“It is to educate, empower, create, entertain the public from the gift God has given to artistes, ’’she said.
She thanked Joke Silva, Jimi Solanke, Ayo Sadare, Hebert Kunle, Buddy Agedah, Funsho Olokesusi amd others who contributed to the success of the event.
“Today, we owe our gratitude to them for the transformational changes they have accomplished in performing arts in various Nigerian communities.’’
NAN reports that awards were given to some stakeholders who had contributed immensely to humanity and the growth of the performing art industry.
The event also featured a night of jazz and dance as the group `Swing and Jazz` choreographed and directed by Sarah Chollet entertained the guests.
There was also `WaackiNaija` fashion runway show, as 10 aspiring designers showcased their designs in a conventional catwalk show.
The six-day festival would also feature workshops and performances of various forms of arts. (NAN)