This periodic report was prepared by the Cultural Policy and Research Section of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, in collaboration with the National Cultural Foundation and the Barbados Museum and Historical Society. This report specifically speaks to Barbados' culture sector as it pertains to the objectives of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression. It does not provide a comprehensive or detailed review of the programmes, projects and activities implemented in the culture sector since the online reporting format and its word restrictions would not permit this; instead it serves as a snapshot of a few of the activities and programmes which are taking place within the sector.
This report presents some of the key achievements that occurred in Barbados' culture sector, specifically focusing on activities related to the 2005 Convention. There have been several achievements within Barbados' culture sector, however, within the sector's most recent journey the passing of the Cultural Industries Development Act and the establishment of the Cultural Industries Development Authority, can be identified as two key achievements. The Act, which was proclaimed in 2015, has given impetus to the sector, while providing several possibilities for engagement and employment opportunities for cultural practitioners. In a nutshell, this far-reaching piece of legislation encourages the sustainable growth and development of indigenous cultural industries, making these possible through the provision of funding for cultural projects, duty-free concessions and income tax benefits. The Act is implemented through the work of the Cultural Industries Development Authority which seeks to establish the cultural industries as a leading economic driver in Barbados via the introduction of economic stimuli including investment into the industry; increasing export and trade activity for creative goods and services and working with key partners in facilitating the establishment of Barbadian creative cultural brands for large scale commercial activity. The diligent efforts of the Cultural Industries Development Authority has resulted in cultural practitioners benefiting from training in sourcing finances, mentoring, pitching for investment and business development, as well as cultivating productive relationships for employment and commercial opportunities.
Looking towards the future the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth in collaboration with its agencies and civil society will continue to develop a culturally rich Barbadian society and a creative economy that will assist in fostering sustainable jobs, economic growth and a social fabric that speaks to positive living especially among youth. This would include several programmes and activities, of which the most immediate ones would be the review of the National Cultural Policy of Barbados, the hosting of the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) in August 2017, and the legislating of the Film and Digital Media Commission. In addition to this the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth would continue to utilise its cultural cooperation agreements to engage in cultural exchanges which promote diverse cultural expressions.