Local artistes call for more support for creative industry

Guyana 54th Independence LogoDPI, Guyana, Saturday, May 23, 2020

Education, Consistency and more support is needed to drive the creative industry in Guyana.

This was highlighted on Saturday, during the National Communication Network programme The Dialogue which forms part of the Department of Social Cohesion, Culture Youth and Sports 54th Independence activities.

Featuring artistes like filmmaker Kojo McPherson, Educator and Musician Paul Cort and the US-based Guyanese singer Dallas Forte, the dialogue focused on the country’s creative sector and the steps needed to further develop it.

The panellists discussed successes undertaken such as the reintroduction of Pan-O-Rama in 2009 following the implementation of the Republic Bank Pan Minors Music Literacy Programme in 2010; the relaunch of the Steel Pan Builders workshop which saw the revival of the art form of pan tuning and the Timehri Film Festival.

McPherson commended the progress of the local music industry in the country thus far, however, he noted the need for an established structure to ensure artistes properly benefit financially.

“We (Guyana) have a vast amount of raw material such as actors, singers, writers, lighting technicians and so on but we need to have more regulation and infrastructure to do benefit,” McPherson stated.

Echoing McPherson’s sentiments Forte noted that the content produced by Guyanese artistes if often overlooked in favour material produced by regional and international artistes.

Meanwhile, Cort posited, “Building the appreciation of Guyanese artistes and their art form can only be achieved through the implementation of the various art forms at an early age much like Trinidad and Tobago’s ‘Pan in the Classroom’ initiative.”

He noted that country was initially on a good path creatively in the 60s to 80s when citizens enjoyed a wide variety of cultural activities.

“Guyanese artistes were willing to put in the work to produce quality pieces which would prove to assist in the development of our creative industry but we have become inconsistent over time. Presently we have a few solid musicians in Guyana, so if we want that kind of success again, we will need to start from scratch,” Cort remarked.

The efforts made by Former Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, in 2015, with the reintroduction of Music and Physical Education into the school system were also highlighted.

“Tertiary education in the area of music is needed for those who wish to become a singer/musician,” McPherson emphasised.