Minister of Culture, John King, speaking today at the opening of a series of panel discussions ahead of the Eighth OAS Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Culture and Highest Appropriate Authorities Conference. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Close to 100 creatives met at Hilton Barbados today for a series of panel discussions ahead of the Eighth Organization of American States’ (OAS) Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Culture and Highest Appropriate Authorities Conference.

The event is being held to gain the input of the creatives to ensure that their views are reflected during the discourse at the two-day ministerial meeting, which will be held from Thursday, September 19, to Friday, September 20.

In delivering the feature address at the opening of the side event, Minister King issued a caveat to creatives to find ways to work together and support each other.

Stating that he “is not a politician who happens to be an artist, but rather an artist who happens to be a politician”, he appealed to the artists gathered to “look in the mirror and ask what have we done to further our own cause”.

Minister King stressed that he would like to see a shift in the way that local artists interacted with each other. “Barbadian artists need to come together as a community and lend support to each other,” he stated.

Mr. King urged them to stop arguing among themselves, as it did nothing to solve the problems they faced and could, in fact, give persons a negative impression of artists in general.

“We must begin to shape the narrative and think outside the box.  Give value to what we do and support each other in tangible ways,” he advised.

Minister King also urged those in attendance to speak freely, but “at the end of it all ask yourselves, what I can add to improve the circumstance of artists”.

paula.harper-grant@barbados.gov.bb

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