First batch of GFCCI’s beneficiaries announced

− $3M is the largest sum applicants will receive 

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Fifteen dedicated and lucky individuals, today, have been announced to receive grants through the Guyana Fund for Cultural and Creative Industries (GFCCI) to develop their creative projects.

Proposed during Minister of Social Cohesion, Hon. Dr. George Norton’s 2019 Budget presentation, this $20M initiative aims to not only improve the livelihoods of persons engaged in the cultural and creative industries but to promote new cultural products and to facilitate the market of the local industry.

Held in the department’s boardroom, Minister Norton said that the initiative is one long-overdue which will help to open doors for the nation’s creative minds.

“The government of Guyana through the Department of Culture will continue to support and empower persons in the cultural and creative industries… We must foster an environment which lends support to the artistic community by providing avenues for capacity building, technical assistance and assistance to source funding which result in economic value for this nation,” he added.

The minister also encouraged other artisans to participate and apply for such an opportunity when the call is made. He commended all relevant stakeholders for their support to ensure such an initiative was established to not only develop but empower local artisans.

“This initiative is not limited to the empowerment of people within the industry, it also helps to support our efforts in the area of cultural preservation as we focus on economic value and industries. In many aspects, the cultural industry can become one of the key vehicles – a driving development as we use our cultural assets for impactful economic growth,” Minister Norton said.

The department received proposals in several creative disciplines ranging from film to craft, music and animation.

Echoing the minister’s sentiments, Director of Culture, Tamika Boatswain said “this is truly a historic moment for the culture and creative industries in Guyana because it shows that the government cares about the creative industries and its development and this is the first investment in that sector. We expect in the coming years; government’s support will grow in this sector.”

She noted that aside from this effort, the department has been working assiduously to assist in the development of this sector through exhibitions, craft markets, international participations, among others.

The Culture Director highlighted that while some applicants requested $10M or more for a good cause, the department would be unable to do so.

As one of the lucky recipients, graphic artist, Barrington Braithwaite applauded the department for allowing him to do what he loves. “This was never done in the history of Guyana and like all historical moments… and this here is the empowerment of cultural industries which is translated to people who live through their art,” he added.

In an invited comment another recipient, Michael Jordan, author of the supernatural novel ‘Kamarang’, said; “I am elated. I wish to thank the Government, the Department of Social Cohesion, Youth and Sport, the Committee responsible for selecting applicants, and all those who have been pushing for greater financial assistance for creative individuals like myself. This will help me to offset the cost of printing more copies of my successful novel, to market it to a wider audience, and to invest in another novel that I am working on. It will also give me some economic space to focus on my plans of turning Kamarang into a film.”

Those who applied for GFCCI needed to provide a well-thought-out budget. This includes marketing and distribution concept and marketing plans, evidence of the person’s competency to perform the task, sustainability concept and sustainability plan among others.

All successful applicants are required to sign a contract to cover the disbursement and output schedules; marketing and branding; sustainability and termination or completion requirements.