Culture Minister Pledges To Boost Island’s Cultural Industries

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Barbadian youth could in the near future benefit from a training programme akin to the Toronto, Canada-based Remix Project, which is expected to boost the island’s cultural industries thrust.??

Word of this has come from Culture Minister, Stephen Lashley, who recently???? lauded the North American programme created to help level the playing field for marginalised youth, especially those seeking to enter into the creative industries or further their own education.

"In the near future, my?? Ministry will take steps to create a similar programme locally, so that we can provide guidance and opportunities to those of our young people who currently see themselves as being marginalised, existing on the periphery of our society, and unable to qualify for entry into the traditional job markets," Minister Lashley told patrons attending the official opening of the "Black Diaspora Visual Arts International and Caribbean Workshop Series and Moving Image Film Presentations at the Savannah Hotel.

?????????????????? Noting that in recent months a lot had been said about the development of the cultural industries in Barbados, Mr. Lashley acknowledged the concomitant anxiety regarding what Government was doing.

"While I can empathise with this attitude of impatience, there is something that we need to understand. When we talk of developing the economic potential of our culture sector, we have to remember that there are many facets to consider and to address comprehensively.

"We are speaking of the important work of encouraging the development of a range of human creative endeavours. And although the legislation which we are awaiting is absolutely critical to this undertaking, that is only one aspect of what has to be an ongoing exercise," he emphasised.

In speaking to his Ministry’s wide-ranging support for the cultural industries, Minister Lashley cited, in particular, its collaboration with the Copyright Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (COSCAP) via the "Guardians of Music"?? Programme for secondary school students.

To date, two of the island’s secondary schools have benefitted from the programme, which, among other things, allows students the opportunity to hear first-hand the experiences of Barbadian entertainers on their paths to success.

"I am confident that the Guardian of Music Programme will go a long way towards sensitising our young people to the importance of developing their innate creativity, and to the need to respect Intellectual Property Rights," Minister Lashley concluded.

The Black Diaspora Visual Arts series has now moved on to Martinique.??

cgaskin@barbados.gov.bb

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