US support for local development of creative arts industry

─ new US Ambassador signals interest in collaborating with Min. Norton

─ boosting earning power of artists

─ crafting of intellectual property rights legislation

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, March 16, 2019

Newly accredited United States Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch has pledged her country’s support to the development of Guyana’s creative arts industry. A move which will bring tremendous benefits to creatives locally.

Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton greets the newly accredited United States Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch

Ambassador Lynch paid a courtesy call on Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton on March 15, where the two discussed the development of the creative arts industry.

Minister Norton, who also has responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, said the discussions included help in marketing the works of local creatives and knowledge transfer through collaboration between locals and US creatives.

“We spoke about the emphasis being placed on the marketing of art so that we can improve the earning power of artists in Guyana; whether it is sculpture, painting, whatever it is, visual arts in the whole. The ambassador did express her desire to work with us along particularly with regards to inviting artists from the US to bring their pieces to exhibit and host workshops here in Guyana.”

Another area of focus is the development of intellectual property rights legislation. During the 2019 National Budget Debate, held last December, Finance Minister Winston Jordan announced that steps would be taken to safeguard the livelihood of those in the creative industry by finalising the said legislation.

“The lifestyle of the artist sometimes it has looked too enterprising, and we know that these persons are hardworking, dedicated and committed to art and we should do all that we can to help them improve on their standard of living,” Minister Norton underscored.

In 2017, the Coalition Government established the Institute of Creative Arts. The facility seeks to empower artists through training for specific occupational roles in the creative sector. The academic units include the National School of Dance, the E.R Burrowes School of Arts, the National School of Music, and the National School of Theatre Arts and Drama. The institute’s creative arts’ certificates are accredited by the University of Guyana. Since its opening, the institute has certified five batches of students.

Isaiah Braithwaite

Image: Marceano Narine