30 individuals receive cultural, creative industry grants

The government, through the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sport, is actively paving the way for Guyanese citizens to access a plethora of opportunities through the distribution of its Cultural and Creative Industry Grant Programme.

Some 30 individuals were presented with their grants at the 2024 Mashramani Awards Ceremony hosted at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) Tuesday evening.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr and members from the ministry presenting the grant certificate to one of the new recipients

Each grant, totalling $1 million, aims to assist individuals in expanding existing businesses within the arts industry or establishing new ventures that contribute to Guyana’s growing entertainment and entrepreneurial landscape.

Minister Charles Ramson Jr, emphasised that recipients of the grant will become ambassadors supporting and promoting Guyana’s diverse culture.

He highlighted the importance of changing perspectives within the creative industry, both locally and globally, by utilising this support to create sustainable ventures.

“You are using this support, this investment [to] create something that you can build for yourself and can now invest in other people,” Minister Ramson expressed.

This marks the third consecutive year of grant disbursement, with approximately 500 applications received over the past three years.

The grants cover various creative endeavours, including publications, films, music, and architectural initiatives.

The ministry allocates $30 million annually to support the initiative, demonstrating its commitment to fostering creativity and entrepreneurship in the cultural sector.

Technical Officer at the ministry, Ruel Johnson during the presentation on Wednesday

Past beneficiaries shared their experiences, highlighting the transformative impact of the grant.

Published author, Chevon Lim emphasised the grant’s role in bridging the gap between conceptualisation and realisation.

“In 2019 I published my first book and at that time there was no avenue for me to take the step from conceptualisation to realisation. I then saw the application for the grant and I applied and received it,” she said.

Another recipient, Joel Browne expressed gratitude for the opportunity to enhance his production capabilities and compete internationally.

“After hearing about the grant, I was all in. I did the interview and I came out successful. In the life of production, knowledge and assets are king and this grant afforded me the opportunity to buy new equipment to compete on the international level,” Browne recounted.

These testimonies reflect the tangible impact of the grant programme in empowering individuals and driving innovation within Guyana’s cultural and creative industries.