March 27, 2008
There is going to be a bright future for fine Arts in Nevis. That statement was made by Premier of Nevis the Hon. Joseph Parry on Tuesday March 25, 2008, while he officially launched the Nevis Cultural Development Foundation during a ceremony dotted with Nevisian folklore, dance and music at a ceremony which took place at the Nevis Cultural Center.
Mr. Parry said the establishment of the Foundation had become necessary to relieve Government from continually subsidising cultural activities. He said too that it would also be able to access regional and international funding for the development of culture and arts.
“This Foundation will be able to mobilise resources from public and private sector institutions. Additionally, the Foundation will bridge the gap between Culturama and culture, that is, we believe that culture and cultural activities should give the fillip to Culturama. The Foundation will ensure that there is no duplication of resources and staff and will maximise human and financial resources.
“There is going to be a bright future for the Fine Arts in Nevis and as you may know, there is money to be made from the arts, especially with its link to tourism. Cultural activities, masquerades, dance and drama will only boost our tourism,” he said.
Mr. Parry announced a nine-member Board which would be responsible for management and operations of the Foundation. Three of the members have been approved by the Deputy Governor General as the legislation required.
He pointed out that the staff of the Culturama Secretariat and the Department of Culture had met three times to discuss the arrangements with Minister of Culture, the Hon. Hensley Daniel under whose portfolio Culture fell.
“All staff is moved on secondment to the Foundation for one year and they lose no benefits. Anyone can decide after one year whether he or she wishes not to be a part of the Foundation. There has been open dialogue and transparency and they are all aware,” he said.
The Premier reminded that the law to establish the Board was passed in July 2007 and
called on Nevisians to think of the impact that the Foundation would have on culture and the collective experiences Nevisians. He said it would be responsible for the cultural development of the island and to ensure that the people appreciated and maintained their culture.
“It is an economic venture to boost our tourism product while at the same time to promote the cultural development of the country and to ensure that we appreciate and maintain our culture.
“And so in great anticipation of the many benefits to be had and the enormous impact the Foundation will have in positively impacting our national pride I declare the Nevis Cultural Foundation officially launched,” he said.
He explained that the Culturama Village, Cultural Complex and the Cultural Center will all come under the umbrella of the Foundation. He said that over the years there had not been cooperation between the sectors and pointed to; there had been vast leakages of resources; and the absence of sharing of revenue especially in relation to upkeep. He said that the Foundation would end the, non-cooperation, leakages and wastage of resources.
The members of the Foundation approved by Cabinet include Chairman, Mr. Halstead Sooty Byron, Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Tonya Powell, Mr. Livingston Liburd, Ms. Lyra Richards, Mrs. Lorette Brand-Willett, Mrs. Monica Tyson, Mrs. Patricia Jeffers (Tourism), Mrs. Lornette Queeley-Connor (Education) and Mrs. Maureen Adams (Literary Arts).
The Foundation comes into being on April 1, 2008. It will comprise of four units namely Artistic Development, Research and Documentation, Festivals Secretariat and Administration, Marketing and Finance.