The potential of the arts as a growth stream for the Barbados economy and the welfare of its practitioners was emphasised yesterday at the launch of the Crop-Over Visual Arts Festival at the Grand Salle of the Tom Adams Financial Centre.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Ruth Blackman, told guest of the potential of the sector by pointing out that it was one of the fastest growing areas in the world economy.
“Mounted this year under the theme Heritage and the Arts, this festival continues to grow in interest, and this year attracted 119 participants,” Blackman said. “This participation comprises 49 two-dimensional entries…, 32 three-dimensional entries…, and 28 entries in the area of craft.
“Now more than ever Barbados needs to value its various forms of cultural expression. Research has shown that the cultural sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. The number of revenue streams offered is only limited by the scope of one’s creativity — it is the reason that Barbados is placing the development of the cultural industries as one of the pillars of its national development strategy.”
The permanent secretary added: “As we seek to enhance our tourism product, the cultural industries has an
integral role to play in the provision of promotional activities. Just look at the returns provided through the Crop-Over Festival. The cultural industries are therefore earners of foreign exchange both directly and indirectly.”
He assured that through evidence-based research, the Government would continue to provide the kind of enabling environment that would facilitate further growth and development in the cultural sector.
Blackman thanked the sponsors of the event, the Central Bank of Barbados and Republic Bank for their support. (RRM)