By Aaron Humes: This week the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) and European Union (EU) opened the joint ACP-EU 11th EDF Culture Programme as creatives seek to recover from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, (UNESCO), the CARICOM Secretariat and The University of the West Indies have joined forces to implement the project titled Creative Caribbean – An Ecosystem of “Play” for Growth and Development” –in the amount of 3 million Euros.
The three-year project that will be implemented in 15 Caribbean countries, including Belize, aims to develop a robust creative economy in the region by strengthening the enabling environment and providing grant support for industry and training initiatives.
The Creative and Cultural Industries (CCIs) targeted for grant support include music, fashion, festivals, film, animation and new media, visual and performing arts, among other areas of entertainment – a sector that provides millions in revenue and in which thousands of people find full-time and part-time work.
The project is expected to strengthen research and data collection on CCIs, to facilitate market access opportunities, to support the development of national artists registries, Cultural policies and Creative Industry Development Acts to incentivize the sector. It will also provide grants to creative and cultural practitioners to grow more globally competitive businesses and enhance their professional development.
“It is an unquestionable fact that the impact of Covid-19 on the cultural and creative sectors was tremendously significant, yet CCIs play a notable role in the economy and recovery from the pandemic. The Creative Caribbean project seeks to shift the paradigm from “the struggling artist” to creating an enabling environment where creatives are incentivized to produce and thrive and become a key driver of sustainable development in the region,” explains Saadia Sanchez-Vegas, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean.