Promises For The Art Community
“All citizens of the Bahamas, through formal and informal education, will fully understand and appreciate our culture and the heritage of our language, music, expressions, food, religion, and myths,” stated the 2012 PLP Charter for Governance.
“We will also work with the creative industry to ensure that Bahamian culture becomes a major factor in economic development, working towards the goal that by 2030 the number of visitors who come to The Bahamas because of arts and culture will rival those who come primarily because of our beaches and sea.”
A New Direction
Ensure the teaching of Bahamian values and culture is incorporated into all government schools. This will include food, expressions, music, dance and history;
Establish a partnership with the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation along with the National Art Gallery for the procurement and display of Bahamian art and artifacts;
Create an award of excellence in theatre;
Ensure that all festivals and homecomings (private and public) are registered with the Ministry of Culture and a yearly calendar of events is produced to avoid conflicts between events;
Revisit and redesign the National Centre for the Performing Arts into a fully functional, proper performing arts centre;
Research and identify places, events and dates of cultural and historical significance and appropriately signify and highlight them;
Formalize the recognition of Sir Lynden Pindling as the “Father of the Nation.”
Establish a Bahamian Arts Council for the funding of the arts and cultural events;
One of the mandates of the Arts council will be to locate local and international venues to display and sell authentic/original Bahamian arts and crafts;
The Council will also be in charge of building, promoting and maintaining a website to showcase and sell approved Bahamian art, such as straw work, woodcraft, music and painting.
Establish a music secretariat to work closely with The Bahamas Musician Union to build an archival library of Bahamian music and to institute an associated recording studio for the use and promotion of Bahamian musical talent.
Create a Junkanoo season over a twelve-day period ending with the New Year’s Day Parade. This period will offer more organized opportunities to appreciate Junkanoo costumes, music, craftsmanship and performances; as a means of promoting our culture, ensure the maximum exposure of the Junkanoo experience overseas, including international television broadcasts of Junkanoo; display award-winning costumes in prominent public places throughout the year;
Making culture our business
Ensure that research studies are conducted on cultural events and the arts that can be turned into revenue-generating industries in order to create sustainable jobs for Bahamians;
Seek to host CARIFESTA as a means of promoting our culture and providing insight into the cultures of other countries;
Lend support to an annual event that showcases Bahamian music;
Promote the culture of The Bahamas inclusive of events, arts and Bahamian products internationally through the Ministry of Tourism;
Ensure that all people receive the necessary information to register, copyright and trademark their works and a simple process is set in place for people to do so;
Ensure that a percentage of every contract or agreement entered into by The Bahamas Government with foreign investors is geared toward the authentic arts and crafts of The Bahamas;
Introduce, or strengthen where necessary, legislation and regulations to protect and regulate creative arts industries;
Offer incentives and rewards to local businesses which support the arts and crafts of the country;
Put into place all legislation necessary for Bahamians to benefit from e-commerce by enabling them to sell products and accept payment online.
In partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Tourism, ensure the proper farming of top and sisal;
Facilitate the establishment of a cooperative to create a straw exchange which will purchase for resale all plaits that meet the standard set by the exchange;
Define a policy whereby people in the straw industry can make written recommendations for a family member or employee to take over their stall in the market upon their demise or retirement.
Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2012