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WIB Partners with SMDF

WIB Partners with SMDF to Launch Performing Arts Scholarship

PHILIPSBURG - The St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF) and The Windward Islands Bank Ltd. (WIB) have joined forces to provide aspiring dancers with an opportunity to further their studies abroad in the realm of dance.

Having noticed that there are limited scholarship options on St. Maarten for young persons seeking to pursue performing arts after secondary school, the annual WIB Performing Arts Scholarship aims to make a significant impact on the lives of its recipients.

“Over the years, WIB has received a number of donation requests from persons seeking financial assistance to participate in various dance programs. In the past we have supported a number of these ventures but we wanted to be able to provide a structural way to support the arts and felt that an annual scholarship award would be a great way to do so,” said WIB General Managing Director Mr. Derek Downes.

Explaining the partnership further, SMDF Managing Director Makhicia Brooks explained that the scholarship will be an extension of the Fund’s relationship with WIB. “WIB was SMDF’s first private sector partner and we were thrilled when we heard of the idea for the scholarship as it is a creative example of a private sector partner committing to social change,” said Brooks.

For this inaugural edition of the WIB Performing Arts Scholarship, applicants have the opportunity to apply for a Summer Intensive Dance program at the Broadway Dance Center (BDC) in New York City from June 1 to August 23. With the scholarship in place, WIB and SMDF are both encouraging all aspiring young dancers aged 18 to 24 years to submit their applications, including a short 2-minute original performance piece, for this unique opportunity. With applications being reviewed by well known dancers, all are encouraged to submit their best work.

For subsequent scholarships in the coming years, the hope is to also provide aspiring musicians with an opportunity as well.

Interested applicants are urged to visit St. Maarten Development Fund’s website at for more information on the requirement criteria and how to apply. Deadline to apply will be Monday April 30, 2020 at 4:30pm. For more information, interested persons can reach out to the St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF) at or call 543-7711.