Barbados’ cultural products and services could be headed to Brazil in a large way.
That’s because the National Cultural Foundation, in association with the Caribbean Export Development Agency, has secured a grant from the European Union with which it intends to bring Brazil to Barbados to sample our culture and hopefully inspire exports in the same.
The announcement was made by Senior Business Development Officer with the NCF, Alison Sealy-Smith, as the agency hosted a press conference this morning to launch the upcoming e-Create Barbados Cultural Industries Symposium and Showcase from April 9 to 12.
Under the theme Finding your Marketplace at the Intersection of Culture and Technology, Sealy-Smith explained that the symposium was part of a “multi-sectoral approach” to developing new markets for the goods and services as well as the cultural products of Barbados, giving the increasing popularity of technology and the Internet.
With the belief in the wealth of talent in Barbados and that some of the creative entrepreneurs were ready for the global stage, she further remarked that this intended presence on the world stage should not only create jobs, but foreign exchange as well and as such the NCF and its partners were trying to foster the environment to make that happen.
“In fulfilment of the last step in the process, the Business Development Department of the NCF wrote a successful request for European Union funding through the Caribbean Export Development Agency’s Direct Assistance Grant so that we could build on the Foundation’s strategic partnerships in order to bring the global market, focusing primarily on Brazil, to Barbados to share information and sample our world-class cultural products and services.
“We focused on visual arts and crafts and music as the two more mature, market ready sectors and on digital media as the emerging, yet all encompassing, youth driven sector.
“Why Brazil? The size of the market, a burgeoning recession resistant economy, a richly diverse culture with some shared Afro-centric traits, the fact that the NCF has initiated cultural exchanges with Brazil through its masquerade programme and because the creative industries represent a central pillar in Brazil’s 10-year growth strategy plan.”
The contact between the two countries, she added, represented a “future-focused approach” by the NCF towards understanding and realising the benefits of a long-term relationship, especially with the 2014 World Cub and the 2016 Olympic and Para-Olympic Games headed there with implications for cultural exchanges.
Eight Brazilian delegates including festival directors, curators, producers, copyright experts and top music executives will be headed here to sample the local cultural experience and engage in discussions and information sharing to kick-start the exchange with several local artistes putting on a showcase for the dignitaries. (LB)