Talks on National Cultural Policy begin

– stakeholders welcome move

– countrywide consultations will commence afterwards

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Stakeholders in the Creative Arts Industry have welcomed the first round of consultations on the crafting of the National Cultural Policy. The discussions are being undertaken, at the Tower Hotel, by the government and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO.

Those involved in the Creative Arts firmly believe it is a timely move as the industry’s progress has been somewhat static.

Francis Ferreira, an artist for several years, opined that the final policy document will propel the creative arts industry to greater heights. “We are not short of talent but we are short of resources and a forum like this would encourage and help to develop the kind of assistance and motivation the creative people really need to excel in Guyana.”

Rajesh Dubraj is a Cultural Activist who also wears several caps – he holds the titles of Chutney and Soca Monarch as well as a Carifesta Ambassador. Dubraj said the policy will serve as a necessary guide. “In my view, there is a need for it because we do not have any guidelines that we work with and it will help the small groups that are coming up and of course those groups that exist already. I see it good for promoting culture.”

Minister of Social Cohesion, with responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Hon. Dr. George Norton said the policy is a long overdue one. He noted that several factors contributed to the delay but emphasised the importance of the policy to national development.

“These consultations come at a critical time when countries around the world are recognising the importance of ensuring that culture is not ignored in the interest of meeting developmental challenges… I intend to see the final document completed and delivered to His Excellency early in the new year,” the minister underscored.

It was explained that the consultations are an extension of the one-on-one discussions he has been conducting with various stakeholders. “This three days consultations, the hope is that we connect to stakeholders in a centralised way and have their direct input into the draft policy the more important part is after this, is when we take it to communities and have direct community consultations nationwide on the draft policy after which we will do a final policy,” explained Cultural Policy Advisor, Ruel Johnson.

Stakeholders are being urged to participate in the consultations to allow for the creation of a comprehensive policy.