The National Cultural Foundation has created many firsts over the years and in the coming it is expected to set further precedence.
Speaking at the NCF’s 30th anniversary Church service at the Western Light Church of the Nazarene in West Terrace St James on Sunday Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley on applauding the foundation for their contribution to culture vowed that “the best is yet to come”.
He revealed that their were many plans in store for culture and said that the plans to map the cultural industries and the creation of a data base register for cultural practitioners and entrepreneurs was currently on stream. This data base will be the entry point through which incentives and other benefits provided for in the Cultural Industries Act will be accessed, he said.
“Things have changed over the last thirty years. The struggle to make culture an important dimension of national development is not as fierce as it used to be. This is demonstrated by the fact that the cultural industries have been identified as one of the major pillars in Barbados’ Growth Strategy. We have already witnessed the passing of the Cultural Industries Development Act and the Authority to administer the Act will soon be established. Increased cultural activity will be witnessed beginning with an enhanced Crop Over Festival. We will continue to capitalise on our World Heritage status with respect to Bridgetown and its Historic Garrison and work with various stakeholders to broaden festival activity in Barbados, including those who promote gospel festivals,” Lashley said.
In April 1984 the NCF became a fully operational entity. Back in those days its portfolio spanned women’s affairs, youth affairs and community development and arts. Overtime, the focus changed and the arts in all its facets took pre-eminence. There was also the great utilization of technical theatre, visual arts was taken to the community and Bajan folk lore took its rightful place in the cultural mainstream.
“All of you along with the various other cultural officers whose expertise spanned the spectrum of the arts and community organisation, your contribution has delivered to Barbados an institution of which we can all be proud. Some of those who were there when the doors first opened are still with the NCF. I say to all of you– Well done,” Lashley added.