Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett??
The Ministry of Community Development and Culture will leave no stone unturned as it seeks to develop the creative talents of Barbadians across the length and breadth of the island.
This assertion has come from Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett, who said he would shortly initiate the process of pooling the resources – human, technical and financial – of the various departments under his portfolio in an effort to achieve this goal.
Speaking at the launch of the Crop-Over Visual Arts Exhibition at the Grande Salle, yesterday, he opined that this type of collaboration held "incredible potential" for the cultural landscape of Barbados.
Among the departments he mentioned were the National Cultural Foundation, the Community Development Department, the Community Independence Celebrations Secretariat, the National Art Gallery Committee, and the Commission for Pan African Affairs.
Citing the importance of this year’s Crop-Over theme "Celebrating we Heritage", the Culture Minister told the gathering that this was timely, as Government was seeking to have the city of Bridgetown and its historic Garrison nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
He stressed that the nomination would be a major coup for Barbados and the entire English-speaking Caribbean, since of the 890 properties which comprise the list, very few were in the Western Hemisphere.
The Culture Minister added that as part of its public education campaign, Government would seek to sensitise Barbadians about the significance of local heritage.
"Before we can presume to convince the world of the value of our heritage, of the legacy left to us by those who went before, we shall first have to learn to appreciate it ourselves. And so a major part of our strategy as we go through the long and often complicated process involved in seeking the nomination, will be to bring Barbadians face to face with the wonderful heritage that is ours," he explained.
This year’s Visual Arts Exhibition features 189 pieces in the disciplines of Fine Art, Craft and Photography.
In addition, several events will be held in conjunction with the exhibition, including the publication of an educational booklet, special tours with summer camps, and visiting groups from Martinique and Guadeloupe.