CREATIVE INDUSTRY POST COVID MASTERPLAN

Retooling the economy after the COVID pandemic shutdown and global quarantining.

INTRODUCTION:

Courtesy James Hackett

Now that both parties have released their manifestoes — see here for comparisons — it is important that Sector voices present some of the best Sector thinking on the way forward.

The Artists’ Coalition of Trinidad & Tobago (ACTT) has been the primary Creative Industry lobbyist and representative group in T&T for 20 years. A mutating Creative Sector Masterplan has existed since 1997 and has been subsequently fed into by widespread consultation between groups, experts, and international agencies. Many of the working Creative programmes in the public sector came from these lobbies. The initiatives here come from three places.

  1. They include many International Best Practice policy, legislative, institutional, and fiscal tools that EVERY single economy that has profited in the annual US$2.2 trillion dollar Creative Economy has implemented.
  2. Some are relevant indigenous proposals from past T&T Sector Masterplans
  3. Some are adaptations of programmes currently underway in international Best Practice markets to advance post-COVID Creative Economies.

THE GLOBAL CREATIVE INDUSTRY

Courtesy Skills Service and The Drum

It is good to know political parties understand the Creative Economy can be a lynchpin for Diversification.

  • Since 2000 the Creative Industries moved from international orphan economy to the 2nd largest industry on planet Earth earning $2.2 trillion per year.
  • In 2016 the UK released figures showing their Creative Economy was worth £71.4 billion per year. Its growth of almost 10% in 2012 outperformed all other sectors of UK industry.

Despite the fact that T&T’s movement to tool our economy to take advantage of this international boom is 20 years late (we have lost 20 years of opportunities, 3 generations of practitioners, and tonnes of Legacy IP) we must do it! Creative Industries are our comparative advantage as Nation. However we must bear in mind that we are at a moment when the very model for that Creative Economy is changing!

HOW COVID 19 HAS CHANGED THE WORLD:

Courtesy PAHO

The COVID pandemic transformed the world and economies overnight, shutting down economic activity and changing the way that human beings relate on a fundamental level. It has done so for the short and near-medium term.

  • The world was kept sane by tonnes of online artistic content.-most controlled by a small number of international corporations. Not much of the content consumed in the last 5 months was Caribbean or Trinbagonian.
  • The pandemic has fast-tracked the virtualization of business and content.
  • Bricks and mortar rent-based businesses- have been hurt badly. Epiq tracked 3,600 bankruptcy filings in the US til June, up 43%. Massive brands like Neiman Marcus, Brooks Brothers, JC Penny Cirque Du Soleil; Hertz; and Chuck E Cheese have filed. T&T is starting to see a corresponding list.
  • The next 6 months could see a retail Armageddon if conditions do not change- especially through the upcoming Christmas season.
  • Performance-based art-forms like theatre requiring large indoor/outdoor audiences are challenged for at least 2 years until there is a vaccine in wide use.
  • Cinemas are also compromised.
  • The Music Industry whose model has moved from sales-unit profits to performance-driven profits is now hard-pressed to find a model to monetize content.
  • Re-opened sports may provide a solutions template with spectator-less stadium events with massive COVID testing and treatment on its back-end for its large staffs. Sports however has the benefit of massive TV rights economies, built in mass audiences, and filthy rich centralized leagues which could underwrite health protocols.
  • Destination Tourism worldwide is not a viable option for at least 2 years.

Courtesy Black Enterprises

SOLUTIONS:

Given all this,

  • solutions cannot be politically traditional,
  • nor can they be granular and siloed-
  • they must be holistic and poetic enough that they answer big questions.
  • They must provide diversified solutions for specific niches and populations.
  • A huge thrust must be towards retooling industries to the new digital reality –
  • but also to alternative sustainable Green economies.
  • The Creative Industry drives local consumption of locally-produced goods and services.
  • It builds local export capacity,
  • it facilitates conversion to a service-led economy-
  • whilst it also re-tools the essential traditional economy with trained artisans.
  • It drives content and users online and creates valuable online IP for export in the byways of the New Economy.
  • It is the shortest Wealth-creating distance between two points- with the least capital intensive spend.

BIG QUESTIONS:

Two issues that must be transparently dealt with are how do we pay for this re-vamped Sector and how do we create implementation-based agencies to fast track transformations and projects.

  1. HOW DO WE PAY FOR ALL THIS?

    T&T may have a reduced National Income of about 1/3 for fiscal 2020/21 to balance the Budget and do everything else. At the best of times the Arts have had the lowest subvention of any Ministry- bottoming out at about $300 million when certain Ministries receive over $15 billion.

    • We suggest that at least $1 Billion be repurposed from the Ministry of National Security towards the Ministry of Community Development, Culture, and the Arts (MCDCA) and Trade where most of the Creative Industry projects lie. These funds are anti-crime at a foundational level and will be preventative and rehabilitative.
    • For the EPOS and POS Music City projects we can divert make-work projects into these constructive development-minded projects under design spec-led architects.
    • Apart from this we are suggesting a number of other funding mechanisms from: public/private partnerships; international agency grants and low-interest loans; to community-based cooperative solutions.
    • Many of the projects are also intersectional and share resources and teams. There will be many new models to raise funds.

    If we want to activate the Creative economy in the way others have these last 20 years we will have to spend more- the returns however will be geometric and immediate.If government engages this Sector Masterplan this Sector can earn over $3 billion annually in 2 years- and $6 B in 4. Comfortably.

  2. HOW DO WE SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF IMPLEMNTATION?

    Government must be conscious that the turnaround between policy and legislative approval and implementation in the past has been a serious issue – with Bills taking 23 years to be implemented etc. In the Creative Economy time is of the essence and billion dollar opportunities will not linger.

    • It is exceptionally important that the Arts Council and Creative TT are empowered to implement and have expert Integrity leadership and knowledgeable boards and line staff open to consultation and partnerships.
    • It is also important that projects are decentralized and put under experts with strict reporting protocols.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The Creative Industries deal in geometric increase in wealth and profits because- after initial investments in prototypes- distribution and reproduction is almost free. It also creates a new class of entrepreneur and wealth creator. In the Creative Economy there are video game companies that out-earn oil companies. Government must get used to empowering the class of misfits who are the backbone of such an Economy- the Steve Jobs, EA Games, and Jay Zs…

THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY POST COVID MASTERPLAN:

Courtesy James Hackett

The order of Creative Industry priorities to retool for a post-COVID world are:

LEGISLATION:

  1. Passing the 50% Local Content Quota legislation. Local Content Quotas remain the ONLY proven way globally to create successful Broadcast Industries in the shadow of American media empire competition. Passing this law will be the single most important act that any government could do for the life of this country, the diversification of the economy, the expansion of FOREX, and the empowerment of the populace. This is what will create the Content that wins T&T virtual real estate internationally, (there is one party whose proposal is to leave Local Content up to media company moral suasion and offer financial incentives for it. This has never worked anywhere on planet Earth. Local Content must be legislated. It can then be backed up with punishments and rewards.)

FOUNDATION INSTITUTIONS:

  1. The creation of an arms-length National Arts Council: One of the main reasons that T&T fails at lift-off in creating a viable Creative Industry is that we have no Arts Council. Arts Councils provide transparent, consistent, grant funding for each artform on scaled levels. They provide the essential seed capital for cultural enterprise and are the international Best Practice institutions for incubating exceptional artistic practice. There is no annual $2.2 trillion Creative Industry without them. An unemployed teacher JK Rowling received a grant of £8,000 from the Scottish Arts Council which enabled her to write Harry Potter. Harry Potter is estimated to be worth £35 billion to the UK economy! Arts Council grants emancipate genius. The T&T Arts Council should be a Statutory Body with an Arms-Length Provision based on Canadian and British Best-Practice models. (there is one party that has the Arts Council in its manifesto even though that party was militantly against Art Councils in the recent past) We won this in 2014 and there is a Cabinet Note which will have to be rewritten.
    First year spend to staff and fund: $30 million.
  2. The creation of an Elite Artist Assistance Programme: The Elite Artist Programme is a system of targeted supports including grant funding, training, rewards, and awards to a select cadre of Trinidad and Tobago artists who have demonstrable capacity to deliver bodies of work that can impact the local community and international marketplace. It is based on the successful Ministry of Sports Elite Athlete programme as well as the world famous US MacArthur Genius Grant. (there is one party that has created a Creative Ambassadorship program in its manifesto which sounds like a direct lift of it.) We won this in 2014 and a Cabinet Note was created for its implementation.
    First year spend $16 million.

INSTITUTIONAL & FINANCIAL:

  1. Courtesy iPod

    We need a National Fund with grants for Artists to migrate their content online- Barbados has done this. This should be paired with programmes teaching artists how to best manage this and the development of Best Practice portals for the migration. (there is one political party whose manifesto talks of an action plan to migrate products into the digital space.)
    First year spend $5 million

  2. The proper Funding of Creative TT which overseas Film, Fashion, and Music. This agency currently gets around TT$6 million for their collective industries- this cannot work. They actually need to get $60 million- conservatively. This cluster can quickly earn up to $250 million from the year following its proper resourcing’ Film has brought in over $100M in FOREX from visiting films.. We need to set aside funds for the production of a feature film and TV series per year for international markets. The goal should be to get at least one local product licensed to an international streaming service in the next 3 years. A portion of these funds must be for the creation of a T&T Touring Company with most of the money going to our best export-ready products to facilitate market placements, licensing or partnership of content. When travel opens up they will facilitate attendance by relevant acts to the niche expos to get product signed to deals or attract middlemen to the talent.
    First year spend $60 million with matching private sector funds
  3. Courtesy Soca Lyrics

    An industrial plan for Soca: Soca has enjoyed a massive expansion of listeners world-over in the last 10 years to add to its outsize influence on global music. We need to consolidate the Soca Brand, to get international brand recognition of Soca and T&T music, brand recognition of Soca’s most exportable stars, more performances in mainstream markets for cross-over stars, more licensing of music, etc. We must target Soca Charts on either side of the Atlantic. See #20 Brand T&T Tour:

    • To get a cluster of finely honed articles on Soca in major international and niche music mags and blogs: These articles must trumpet Soca’s influence on House, Dancehall, Reggaeton, Afro-Beat etc. It can be confident in its assertions and controversial. It is a coming out party for the Brand. The article should highlight our potential crossover stars and those whose songs already play in major retail metropolitan chains aka the young Groovy Soca artists. These articles should include endorsements from Major Lazer, Diplo, Jillionaire, etc about the power of Soca to move, and should reference the many crossovers T&T music has enjoyed with mainstream culture in the past. The article should namedrop all T&T’s current and past international stars like Nicky Minaj, Cardi-B, Winston Duke, Romany Malco, Heather Headley, Nia Long, Trinidad James, Theophilus London, Ettiene Charles, Brian Lara, Billy Ocean, Geoffrey Holder, Winnifred Atwell, etc. It should drop credentials like Hugh Masakela’s last album before he died done with Siparia Deltones. That project should be reanimated.
    • To get a British Soca Chart and smaller niche charts on the West and East Coast of America (using colleges and universities as jumping off points) building towards a mainstream chart.
      First year spend for these projects $6 million- public private partnership.

MACRO ECONOMIC & CAPITAL INTENSIVE PROJECTS:

  1. The country needs to establish 5 Creative/Tech Hubs/Clusters where the best minds, talents, and start-ups are working together in a wired environment creating innovative projects and content for local market adaption and for foreign markets. The suggested hub zones are:
    1. North West Trinidad;
    2. East POS;
    3. Tamana Industrial Estate;
    4. Central Trinidad;
    5. South Trinidad; and
    6. Tobago out of the Shaw Park Facility.

    The Tamana Industrial Estate UTT Hub should be the central New Media industrial Hub. These zones should be rent-free for 4 years and supported by Venture Capital for companies to scale-up. Creative Hubs have been the tried and true methods for urban regeneration and innovation acceleration in New Economies. There are many brilliant precedents worldwide. (One of the political parties has suggested a ‘West POS “Trinidad Creative Arts” Street/area- but it is geared towards showcasing ‘iconic themes from each of the major countries that influence us’. What we actually need are corollary retail areas to the Hub- Local Business Zones in major towns and the capital city with break-out kiosks in large malls.) THESE ZONES WILL BE WHERE PRODUCTS FROM THE HUB AND FROM BEST LOCAL BUSINESSES ARE SOLD. Public private partnerships.
    First year spend $18 million. This money can be repurposed from the Ministry of National Security.

  2. Courtesy SeeTobago.org

    The regularisation of the land tenure of Panyards. Of the 239 Steelbands in the country 65-75% are on State lands- therefore their regularization costs virtually nothing. It would be the largest migration of wealth into the hands of the roots classes and Creatives in T&T history! IT MUST BE DONE! We won this in 2014 and a Cabinet Note with a full plan on how this is to be implemented.

  3. The upgrade of all Panyards using Lloyd Best’s Schools-in-Pan model. We won this project and then it was taken out of the Ministry of Culture and placed in URP. Very few projects were done under it and the design purpose was lost. The upgrade of Pamberi Panyard is a Best Practise. Proper design and purpose-built specifications must be adopted and enforced. The budget is mostly in Ministry of Works URP etc. – extraneous first year spend $10 million. Here is a working template.
  4. Photo by Dudley M. Brooks. Courtesy National Geographic

    Resourcing the East Port of Spain Growth Pole and Heritage City project- as articulated by the East POS Council of Community Organisations (EPCCO) documents. These emerged from over a decade of community, stakeholder, and international agency consultation. ACTT and the MSJ got the East POS Growth Pole and Heritage City Initiatives as National Policy in 2010. It has not been acted upon by the last 2 administrations- whilst the community has collapsed further. This initiative has everything to do with reducing crime- but it is also about converting collapsing communities into new centres of industry. The international model is Mayor Fajardo’s redevelopment of Medilin Columbia. The country also needs to reconnect with the IADB Sustainable Cities Initiative which former Mayor Lee Sing got Port of Spain into as an inaugural city. This is where the funding will come from. These initiatives can dovetail nicely with UNESCOs designation of POS as a Music Heritage City as fought for by Carla Foderingham and her team. The remodeling of POS from the ground up and inside out as a City of the Future rooted in its rich traditions is a basis for national reconstruction. This money can be repurposed from the Ministry of National Security. Here is a synopsis document.

    Parque Biblioteca España as part of Mayor Fajardo’s Medeilín rehabilitation. Courtesy The Guardian

    The main Creative capital projects of the EPOS Growth Pole are:

    • the House of Music (Museum of T&T Music) which takes up Nelson and George streets. This is the mega project. Collapse most EPOS URP and other make-work project budgets and labour into this.
      First year spend $70 million
    • the Fort Picton Observatory restaurant and Heritage Site. Use a community cooperative model.
      First year spend $5 million
    • the Observatory Street Heritage and Guild District. Public private partnership
      First year spend $5 million.
    • the Picadilly Street rehabilitation and the bridges over the Dry River, currently on government’s books
    • the Duncan Street/Independence Square community centre projects incorporating the old e Teck and Penny Bank buildings. Public private partnership
      First year spend $30 million.
    • The relocation of Despers back to the Hill. Demolishing the badly built Centre and creating a properly programmed multi-purpose centre which can appropriately house the community and panside.
      First year spend $35 million

    Enact the UNESCO Port of Spain Music Heritage City initiatives:

    • Create the Music Heritage Walk Zones- St James Hosay, Steelband, and Drum Crawl; Woodbrook Panyard Crawl; EPOS Carnival and Steelband Crawl- Green Corner to Behind the Bridge; Morvant mainroad Pan Crawl; Belmont Heritage Crawl; Ariapita Avenue Live Music District-
      First year spend $10 million Public private partnership
    • Brand the City, airport, and ports as Port of Spain UNESCO Heritage Music City
      First year spend $1 million. Public private partnership
  5. Heritage Museum. Courtesy EmmaJaneAvery.com

    We need a Heritage Warehouse to house all our National Collection artefacts so that they are curated and preserved well until we create the Museums and Heritage Sites to deploy them properly. If we don’t create this facility now we will witness the wanton loss of Heritage IP in the next 6 -10 years as the artefacts degrade in private collections. A facility like this is absolutely necessary as the first phase in the construction of large scale National Heritage infrastructural projects like the creation of a Carnival and Steelband Museum First year spend $3 million. This money can be repurposed from the Ministry of National Security

  6. Beauty in Perpetuity. Photo © Noel Norton

    The Carnival and Steelband Museum. This is an urgent project now because it may be the only thing that can rescue the Festival from complete aesthetic collapse. The facility should be programmed to earn over $100 million annually. It will cost $300 million and take 3 years to construct. By then hopefully there will be a vaccine and some kind of Tourist industry returning globally. Its launch should be global. So the time to start is now. The important thing to note is that the process of creating the facility is as important as the product. By completion there should be Guilds for Mas Artisans, Secret Society Houses for Traditional Masquerades, a Pan Factory in East POS, a Mas Factory as well, 100 recreated Kings, Queens, and individual costumes, commissioned books of History, local Mas scholarships, and multiple Mas university programmes. A director, lead curator, curatorial staff, and full administrative staff should be hired and concessionaires onboard at least 2 years before completion and the first 3 years programming of the facility should already be booked by the time the doors open. That’s how international Best Practice institutions are built and programmed.
    First year spend $90 million. This money can be repurposed from the Ministry of National Security.

  7. 7 Best Practice Community Centres: Community Centres should be multi-purpose hubs being used 24/7 365 days by a community. They must have purpose-built specs and the programming to make it so. 7 Centres should be ramped up to Best Practice- design and programming wise- as models for all others In this period of roll-out the Creative Industry will utilize Schools, Panyards, Hubs, and Community Centres as zones of meeting, business, and transferal of knowledge and skill. Here’s a minimum specification document.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY EXPLOITATION:

  1. IP registration, policing, and exploitation: The holders of wealth in the virtual New Economy are hardware and software creators and owners- those that create and manage the virtual information platforms and those that create, own, and distribute content on them. For us to have traction on the software side we need to actually own our content. Intellectual Property is a multi-billion dollar business with tonnes of money being generated in royalties off of old IP created decades ago simply because that IP was copyrighted, trademarked, curated, administered, and policed by proper collection agencies. Locally we have not been rigorous at the Artists end in locking up ownership, but on the government end there is a gaping chasm in the creation of the architecture necessary to manage a multi-billion dollar earning IP collection regime for this country. The following is what is necessary for such a possibility to emerge:
    • A tramline whereby inventors and innovators can trademark their inventions and an agency that would police those titles. The agency should also begin a large scale trademarking process of T&T IP at all levels which can be exploited in time to come
    • A campaign for the copyrighting of Creative works – books, movies, games and other forms of IP so that Creative product is ready for commercialisation
    • The sorting out of T&T’s continuing confused Copyright landscape with COTT, TTOC, etc. A national stance on rights owners belonging to ASCAP, BMI, and other agencies. Reciprocally COTTs responsibility in collecting international royalties for members
    • Sorting out the Copyright landscape will allow us to finally begin to collect for Neighboring Rights for Musicians, etc.
    • The creation of an active licensing company as a desk in Creative TT possibly whose singular responsibility is the pursuit of licensing opportunities for T&T product– songs, images, stories, etc. It would establish relationships with the top and niche international Licensing Companies and sell them generations of our work for commercial exploitation.
      First year spend $6 million

HERITAGE:

  1. Photo © Michael Caswell

    Fund the books which will document our core Histories: Curated history is one of the great sources of National Wealth in the Creative Economy. From well-programmed Heritage Sites to books, movies, events, heroes, and re-interpretations of historical lore, nations have found millions of ways to monetize their indigenous IP. Us? Not so much. T&T has created enormous swathes of valuable Cultural Capital- but we have not codified those phenomena to enable Legacies to be monetized. Neither have we codified for transmission to a next generations. Both are vitally important. It begins with the core archaeology of doing first generation Histories. WE HAVE NO STANDING HISTORIES OF MOST OF OUR ARTFORMS!!! We are operating blind.In 2014 ACTT won Cabinet Notes which compelled government to fund expert historians to complete their research and publish 12 Histories of T&Ts core artforms (like Theatre, Ramleela, Soca, etc) and 12 Biographies of core T&T cultural icons (like Sparrow, Kitch, and Sundar). Only 1 grant was given. The historians, icons, and holders of history are dying and we still do not have these definitive coffee table histories of our artforms. We need these books to use as guides for the next generation, to serve as curricula for our creative tertiary institutions, and to serve as fodder for monetisable IP for the Sector.
    First year spend $5 million. Here’s the Cabinet Note.

  2. Lion House. Photo courtesy The Guardian

    Resourcing the National Trust properly. The National Trust is severely underfunded- despite the fact that near $1 billion would have been spent on the Magnificent 7, the Red House, and President’s House by their completion, the rest of the Heritage stock of T&T has only had a minute fraction of that. That money must pay for listing of buildings, preservation interventions, and the repurposing of these sites into monetisable products. Because we have been so lax on Heritage Site preservation to date we are in an emergency situation regarding a lot of our premium elite and vernacular Sites.

    • For the next Budgetary year we need to prioritise the programming of 7 sites to international Best Practice as income earners. Proper curators and storytelling designers need to be brought in to ensure these adaptive-use Sites are done well. The Trust will probably require between $50-100 million to do its job properly in the next 2 years. The returns off this investment would be stratospheric

EDUCATION:

  1. Create pilot Arts and Tech Voc Magnet Schools at Secondary school level: There is a crisis in education in T&T in terms of industrial and landscape relevance, student attentiveness, and in the creation of a well-rounded flexible innovative creative citizen who can adapt to the many vagaries of the modern world. Lobbies for SEA reform and curriculum reform are either inching their way bureaucratically- or frozen. We want to hop over these issues and get to solutions and the creation of Best Practice institutions that can then be adopted and learned from.
    Funding should come from within Ministry of Education

    • Create pilot Arts and Tech Voc Magnet Schools at Secondary school level. They will build on the past Ministry of Education Arts Magnet School programme- but these schools should be managed by Creative professionals with more immersive Creative programmes based on international School for the Arts Best Practice standards.
    • The country needs to treat its artisan class better. Root skills of masonry, carpentry, plumbing, metal work, draftsmanship, electrical and tech repair, etc are crucial to the economy and are actually how civilizations are judged. Artisans are holders of valuable indigenous IP, but also are front line in the facilitation of the core infrastructure of the New and Old economy. Tech Voc Magnet schools would be the backbone of this re-sensitisation and assist the reprogramming of these essential skills back into ALL secondary schools.
  2. Post COVID Theatre industry:
    • Horace James/Play of the Month. Photo courtesy TriniTuner.com

      Theatre and Dance need a programme whereby local scripts are retooled and shot for the TV screen ala Horace James’s Play of the Month. It will be a National call administered by NDATT, NDANCE, and Tony Hall’s Local Playwright group. All TV stations should take part and provide part funding. It would be a public private partnership as part of launching the Local Content Quota law. It will drive talent to produce a generation of content that will now be marketable globally and virtually and keep the Sector employed. The Ministry of Health will partner with Health protocols on productions.
      First year spend $10 million with matching private funding

    • The Ministry should partner with top architects, designers, and theatre techs and creators to create a COVID resistant theatre space- which may be outdoors etc. The theatre may consist of small less-than-4-person pieces or ritualistic masked theatre where the actors have proprietary of their costumes. This theatrical experience may constitute the nation’s live theatre quotient for the time being.
  3. Visual Arts:
    • This period should consist of the digitizing of the National Museum Inventory and its migration online into an interactive tour and sales-based portal
    • The Ministry should work with The Craft Associations to place our best products online and go after international design mags to situate the product after figuring out how to scale up
  4. The Festivals:
    • Religious groups will figure out how to choreograph their festivals- but mass gatherings for the time being cannot safely happen. It may be possible that we shall see innovation happen from within the Festivals as to how they can remain vital and interactive at such a time as this
  5. Carnival:
    • With community spread, Carnival is now impossible to contemplate as a mass event. However Carnival has thousands of inputs. A mass consultation should be held as to how a Festival that regularly contributes over $600 million of FOREX to the local economy should be reconstituted in a worst case scenario.
      Budget for Consultation: $100,000.
  6. Machel Monday. Photo courtesy CNC3

    One party has advocated a Carnival in a Box package which seems derived from past ACTT and stakeholder proposals for a Brand T&T Tour caravan led by Soca Music but which contains multiple modules for other forms of music, festivals, events, and T&T products to be deployed into host cities. It would teleport into any major metropolis and be a T&T brand ambassadorial megaton bomb. Barbados did a great version of such a tour with its Ring Bang generation of musicians in Europe. This is an admirable initiative to re-awaken BUT IT CANNOT HAPPEN UNTIL AFTER THE WORLD RE.OPENS FOR BUSINESS

GAME CHANGERS:

  1. 25 CSB courtesz carlene de bourg

    Courtesy Carlene De Bourg

    The re-opening of Caribbean Sound Basin Music Studio and the situation of T&T as a World Music recording hub, and the Sou Sou session initiative to fast track the recording and curating of T&T’s genius music of all genres.

    • Even after being closed for almost 2 decades the CSB Amar studio and sound rooms remain amongst the best in the world (it was voted amongst the top 3 studios in the world by international recording industry experts). Most of Puff Daddy’s and Notorious BIG’s multi-platinum music that changed the shape of Hip Hop and the world was recorded there- amongst many many more. The facility has been leased to the Ministry of National Security and it may constitute the biggest give back the Sector requires from them. We want the Music back. Once the site that launched the Kiskadee Karavan Revolution that changed T&T music forever for the bettet, the time has come for the facility to launch another revolution of T&T music- the T&T Music Industry assault on the global market and the world.There is a Sector music plan using the facility as its basis which is still valid- it entails partnering with T&T Grammy award winning Michael Jackson and Outkast producer Dexter Simmons, UTT professor Martin Raymond, and a dream team of World Beat producers to make the facility a hub for grade A recording talents from around the world with reciprocal relationships for our artists and networking our artists into international niches suited for them.
      Rebooting the facility- $10 million
    • Whilst the international plan is being enacted the plan is to unleash a project called the Sou Sou sessions on T&T Music. The current plan for T&T Music involving the Music District and the Incubation etc are all Artists’ Coalition of T&T plans lifted word for word from our documents. Those plans constitute the middle 3 of 9 plans. The first 3 plans are about 50% Local Content Quotas, creating municipal bylaws built into venue licenses to ensure that restaurant and bar owners are mandated to play a certain proportion of live and recorded local music, etc. The other part of that first part consisted of a plan to record the tonne load of unrecorded great music that exists at optimum quality. Because of high production costs and the lack of a local music scene- far less access to international gigs- plenty great music goes unrecorded.The idea is to identify the best studios per genre and identify the best session musicians in T&T and identify the best unrecorded music or tracks that need to be recorded, redone, or remastered. Rentals and salaries would be advanced to studios and session musicians to play and record on a generation of the best music T&T has ever recorded in all genres. For one year T%T’s best songwriters, singers, and bands will be recording their best material with our best musicians and producers!It is also an opportunity whilst the CSB facility is up and running and the best sound engineers in the world are present to have the music mixed and mastered by the best. This generation of recorded content by T&T’s best musicians of all genres would constitute our next generation assault on the international market.There is also a plan for the packaging of the music, creating the back end for the music (which is where the Incubation programme really was supposed to kick in), and a plan to aggressively take all this multi-genre local music to the local public and have them fall in love with these musicians and the music. Another important project for this period was the curating of T&T’s recorded music catalogue. especially the music of our marginalized genres where a lot of the brilliant music has lain undiscovered.The Sou Sou Sessions is the real basis for our assault on the international Music market $5 million
  2. 26 pm residence

    Prime Minister’s Residence

    The boldest plan in this document for the conversion of T&T into a global elite Creative Economy is this: the conversion of the official residence/diplomatic centre of the Honourable Prime Minister into the National Art Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago.

    • The international media attention because of this gesture alone will be a game-changer. It will raise the profile for the Arts in this country and create the country’s greatest international man-made tourist destination.
    • The country will receive free press in nearly every single international Art magazine & mainstream media outlet-in the world because of this gesture.
    • This gesture can be used strategically to accomplish a range of things for brand Trinidad & Tobago and the Creative and Cultural Industries and can lead to enormous benefits for our best artists to get international representation & shows worth millions in foreign exchange annually.
    • T&T’s visual arts legacy is brilliant but at present cannot be seen here because the space allotted for our National Gallery within the National Museum is woefully small. I T WILL TAKE YOU 2 TO 3 DAYS TO WALK THROUGH THE JAMAICAN NATIONAL GALLERY- IT WILL TAKE YOU AND HOUR TO WALK THROUGH OURS. We have an almost similar National Collection as Jamaica but there is currently no piece of built real estate in the capital city that can house this collection in a worthy manner- except the Prime Minister’s facility. It is almost tailor made as an indoor/outdoor facility for this enterprise!
      Cost of the relocation and set up: $10 millionThe feasibility document can be found here.

 

Posted on August 9, 2020, in President's Blog and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

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