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Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism

Opening of Training Seminar in collaboration with DeVos Institute of Arts Management, Kennedy Centre, Washington D.C.

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally”

Monday September 8, 2014

Fiesta Plaza, Movie Towne, Invaders Bay,

Audrey Jeffers Highway, Port of Spain

9.00 a.m.

FEATURE ADDRESS

Presented by:

Dr the Honourable H Lincoln Douglas

Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism

 

SALUTATIONS:

  • Mr Maurice Suite, Permanent Secretary,  Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism
  • Ms. Patricia Boyce-Diaz, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism
  • Mr. Brett Egan, President of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management and other Representatives of the DeVos Institute
  • Mrs. Ingrid Ryan Ruben, Director of Culture, Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism
  • Ms Candice Alcantara - Head, Corporate Communications and today’s Master of Ceremonies
  • Distinguished stakeholders of the arts and culture
  • Members of the Media
  • Ladies and Gentlemen

INTRODUCTION

Good Morning,

Cultural organisations in the current global environment face a myriad of challenges and opportunities, from rapid technological and regulatory change to the emergence of new markets and competitors. Trinidad and Tobago is no different.

Indeed, while there have been incremental successes as a nation in the international market over the last fifty two (52) years of Independence, there are still several areas of opportunities and unchartered markets that the Trinidad and Tobago brand needs to permeate in order to be recognized globally.

Ladies and gentlemen, the question is therefore asked … how can cultural organizations deal with the constant competition and decreased government funding in an evolving marketplace? 

The answer is simple. There must be the formation of knowledge-based cultural organisations in which value creation is focused, not only on the artistic value of the offering, but also on realistic market analysis, wider stakeholder involvement and customer satisfaction.

PURPOSE OF THIS TRAINING SEMINAR

The paradigm of a knowledge-based arts organisation is not an impossible dream. The Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism is continuously seeking to provide cultural organizations with the necessary tools to ensure that you are equipped with the relevant skills to survive and be relevant in the modern competitive environment.

As the chief custodians of the arts and creative sector in Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism is assisting cultural organizations to bridge this gap through this holistic training approach that is tailor-made to meet the needs of our bourgeoning cultural sector. 

This high-level training seminar is focused on the important issues in arts management. It aims to address the most critical deficiencies and effectively focus the appropriate resources, time and effort toward targeted solutions.

The objective is not only to foster an awareness and appreciation of the advanced state of Arts Management, but also to provide you with pertinent skills that will assist you in your strategic planning and development strategies.

MANAGEMENT OF SUBVENTIONS AND REDUCTION IN THE DEPENDENCY ON THE STATE

With the techniques that you will learn today- and implement in your organisations - there is an expectation, that in the near future, we will see a marked improvement in the management of the resources that are invested into the sector.

Gone will be the days where organisations move forward aggressively with the implementation of events that are underfunded and under-patronised with the anticipation that the government will add the lacking funds to the organisational coffers.

The fact is that a subvention is meant to support….not to be the main source of funding for an organistion. While I do agree that art and culture require special attention and resources to ensure longevity, it is hoped that, over the years, the support required from the Public Sector will be less and less.

It is for this reason that the Ministry has invested in this initiative so that the organisations represented here today will be empowered and prepared for increased self-dependency. Your lead may likely be the catalyst for the improvement in arts entrepreneurship and private sector investment that is truly required for the diversification of our economy.

CLOSING STATEMENT

This Seminar is just one of the initiatives that the Ministry is undertaking to secure the advancement of the sector. The Ministry has commissioned studies into our creative and cultural sector so that we can accurately represent the value of its contribution to the economy and lobby, even more aggressively, for additional resources. The findings of these studies will be presented to the public within the near future and will guide future resource allocation and programmes that are implemented.

In closing, on behalf of the Ministry, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the representatives of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management for cohosting this event and collaborating again on this significant initiative.

Given the Institute’s proven track record in the training, development and empowerment of arts administrators internationally, I have no doubt that this seminar will be a success.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to the Director of the Division of Culture and her supporting staff for their efforts in organising these training seminars.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am very encouraged by your attendance and participation as stakeholders of the arts. As such, we at the Ministry anticipate incremental changes for the better in the way we do business within our creative and cultural sector.

God Bless Trinidad and Tobago.

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