NICH celebrates ten years

NICHThe National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) was established in 2003 from a unification of the former Belize Arts Council and Department of Archaeology, now respectively the Institute of Creative Arts and Institute of Archaeology.  It has added departments for the Museum of Belize/House of Culture and Institute of Social and Cultural Research. But what, really, has NICH done in 10 years? We asked President Diane Haylock and she gave us this response.

Dianne Haylock – President, NICH:

vlcsnap-2013-08-29-14h46m26s108I think that the overall accomplishment, in a very general way, is the great attention that has been given to culture overall.  I think that prior to the formation of NICH you had some activities here, and some activities there, but it was never really dealt with in a serious way.  For me, in terms of the establishment of this institution, you have had very focused attention being carried out in the different art and cultural forms. 


Diane Haylock goes on to speak about the theme for this remembrance, “Igniting a Cultural Renaissance.”

Dianne Haylock  – President, NICH:

On the theme: ‘Igniting’ – what does ignite mean? It means to set it on fire, to give it more life.  ‘Renaissance’ is rebirth.  It’s rejuvenation.  It is revival, and seeing this is as not just something that is happening in a moment, but it is something that has to happen over time. It has to continue.  It never really stops.  So we wanted something that can live well beyond these ten years, understanding that if we do not invest in our culture, that we will be less that we can possibly be as a people, and as a country.  

Ms Haylock tells us that Belizeans have more appreciation for the national culture.

Dianne Haylock – President, NICH:

I think that it is more in people’s psyche, and it’s being talked about more.  I think it is being understood as being important to development.  It’s not just culture for the sake of a dance or the recitation of a poem.  It is the understanding that culture in integrally important to development of this country, but our development modeled must be informed by culture.  I think that that has changed with the establishment of NICH.

Diane Haylock was speaking at the official Industry Presentation marking ten years of NICH at the Bliss Wednesday morning. On Wednesday afternoon there was a formal discussion on the future of NICH with the Belize National Culture Policy.

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