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PSIP submission for the developmental spend for the Sector

psip2013In the last 3 years ACTT has been able to win major National Budget battles by going straight to the Ministry of Finance and by bypassing our line-Ministry (the Ministry of Arts) who seemed never interested in the progressive agendas of the Sector. ACTT was able to convince the Finance Minister and his technocrats- and other allies in government we would canvas- of the validity of our programmes. That’s how for the first 2 PPG Budgets ACTT was able to win 75%+ of the progressive agenda for the Sector in the Budgets- gains the Sector had not been able to win since Independence. The problem was that there was no implementation of these agendas. For a number of reasons.

One big reason was because the Sector’s implementing arm—the Ministry of Arts—was never on-board the Sector’s vision. ACTT’s president Rubadiri Victor accepted an appointment as Advisor to the Minister of Arts because it came with the express mission of Implementation of the Progressive Agenda. This means that the opportunity exists- for the first time in the history of the Sector- for the vision of the Sector to also become the vision of the Minister and Ministry! This of course is easier said than done, but the process has now been engaged.

The most important outcome of this has been the thrust by Rubadiri to get the Ministry to adopt ACTT’s and the Sector’s progressive agenda as its own. This is a developmental agenda meant to retool the sector from a $1.7 billion earner annually to becoming a $6- $7 billion earner annually within 4 years. This transformation is possible by the creating of an enabling ecosystem of legislation, institutions, policies, and enabling fiscal programmes which are international Best Practice. The fail-safe for implementation is the creation of an Arts Council based on the renowned Canadian and British Best Practice models as the vehicle for implementation.

This document is the full Budget document for the 2013/14 PSIP. On Budget Day September 9th 2013 the sector and the nation will see if government has heeded the Sector’s warnings and adopted the Sector’s vision.

Dear Minister Tewarie

Dear Minister Tewarie, greetings from the local cultural community! This message meets you on the day the canny Mayans earmarked as the End of Ages—so either this missive meets you throat-deep in water, avoiding the flames, or experiencing the molecular re-alignment of harmonic convergence. However the day meets you, may my message reach you, too!

How did we reach this pass? How can the country of CLR James, Beryl, Sundar, Carlisle Chang, Attila, Spoiler, Kitchener, Bailey, Constantine, Butler, Rienzi, and so many warriors and artisans of Light lie so ruined? So far off-course? So bereft of Hope and Dream? How did we become such a dirty, harried, mangy shadow of ourself? And in particular—how have the dreams of artists who slaved so hard for this place been so completely betrayed with such bloodless ruthlessness by politicians? Of course I’m talking about your Cabinet kicking off the boat the 129 line-items which embodied the dreams of artists, to then smuggle on-board the “Creative Industries Company (TTCIC)”, with its cargo of businessmen and hidden party-financier agendas.

The great Spanish poet Federico García Lorca delivered our own Minshall’s favourite quote about the role of Art, “The poem, the song, the picture is only water drawn from the well of the people, and it should be given back to them in a cup of beauty so that they may drink—and in drinking, understand themselves.” The phrase at centre that resonates for me is: “the people”. The people… It’s always “the people”. If you destroy “the artist”, you destroy “the people”… Read the rest of this entry

Citizen activists

Oxford Dictionary defines “activism” as “the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change”. Now there are all kinds of people labelled activists.

There are nameless people who toil in communities for decades without whom those communities would collapse within seconds. There are NGOs who draw down massive grants year after year and you are hard-pressed to see the work they do.

There are activists who appear whenever a cause is popular—and as soon as the cameras disappear they melt into the shadows.

There are “activists” who appear only when certain governments are in power— and go silent when others are there. There are some who are in activism to “eat ah food”.

And then there are activists who are passionate for change because they are possessed by an idea of a better way. They “see” the vision of the transformed community in a way others can’t… Read the rest of this entry