Art on their minds: Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley,discussing a piece of art with Executive Director of the Caribbean Fine Art Fair, Anderson Pilgrim. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Government is still accepting comments on its draft Cultural Industries Development Bill.

This assertion has come from Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, who encouraged members of the public to take advantage of the opportunity to influence the Bill’s content.

Mr. Lashley was speaking last Wednesday night at the official opening of the Caribbean Fine Art Fair at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC). The Fair will run until Sunday, March 11, and artists from Barbados, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States Virgin Islands, Haiti and Jamaica are exhibiting their work at the LESC.

He told the gathering: "The stakeholders at our recent consultation provided vital feedback on the Bill’s adequacy for meeting the needs of the various sub-sectors. These comments will greatly enhance the Bill and assist the Government in shaping legislation which addresses the concerns of the entire arts sector.

"The Bill, once passed and I hope that will happen very soon this year, will act as the cornerstone upon which this critical sector can be built and can be developed for the empowerment of all."

Emphasising the importance of the Fair, the Minister said it provided a forum for visual artists to showcase their creativity, share their work and explore the economic potential of their art. He added that it would offer visitors another opportunity to develop awareness and appreciation of art and the artist. "You are also sensitising audiences here and abroad, as well as marketing the arts and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit. In essence, you are contributing to our creative economy and helping to diversify the Barbados product," he stated.

Mr. Lashley praised the exhibitors for their outstanding work and commended the organisers for hosting the event here for the second year.


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