Change will be coming to the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) as government introduces the Cultural Industries Development Authority.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, hinted at this yesterday, as he addressed the NCF???s 30th anniversary church service at the Western Light Church of the Nazarene in St. James.

???There will be some changes at the National Cultural Foundation as we put in place the Cultural Industries Development Authority. Those changes will be designed to enhance the role and function of the Foundation as the key driver of the development of culture throughout our communities,??? Mr. Lashley said, explaining that the Authority would be responsible for administering the Cultural Industries Development Act.

Noting that the Act, which was passed last year, would soon be proclaimed, he said the cultural industries were a key part of government???s growth strategy.

Explaining that as a result of the Act, cultural projects would now be able to benefit from incentives, Minister Lashley outlined that plans were also on stream for the mapping of the creative industries, and the creation of a database register for cultural practitioners and entrepreneurs. ???This database will be the entry point through which incentives and other benefits [under] the cultural industries act will be accessed,??? he disclosed.

Moreover, he said the public could expect to see increased cultural activity with the 40th anniversary of Crop Over and the enhancement of that festival.??He told the congregation that the island should continue to capitalise on its World Heritage Inscription: Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, adding that his ministry would work with stakeholders to broaden the Crop Over festival activities, and the promotion of Gospelfest.

Congratulating the NCF on its 30th anniversary, Minister Lashley recalled that over the years, the NCF???s portfolio not only focused on the arts but also Women???s Affairs, Youth Affairs and Community Development.

Outlining the Foundation???s continued valid contribution to Barbados, he said it was ???a solid one and created the linkages with the young people to whom much of its developmental work is geared; and the communities which have become the incubator for the nourishing of Barbadian cultural expression???.

The Culture Minister also praised staff members for their contribution and acknowledged the many employees who were with the institution from its inception.

Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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