[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Sharefil Gaillard (Loop St Lucia) reports that, in St. Lucia, the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) has taken steps in cushioning the devastating blow delivered by the novel coronavirus.
The board of directors, management and staff of the CDF are acutely aware of the profoundly negative impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on Saint Lucia’s cultural and creative sectors.
The crisis has resulted in the disruption of the cultural calendar, the cancellation of public events nationally and overseas, and the shutdown of the tourism sector – all arenas which substantially support economic activity for cultural and creative producers and performers.
The CDF recognizes that these developments have severely affected the livelihoods of creatives, especially those engaged in the tourism sector and scheduled events such as carnival, summer arts festival, La Rose and La Marguerite, and other large scale privately produced entertainment events.
In light of the current situation, the CDF has been working to formulate plans that will meet the needs of stakeholders in these unique times. To this end, consultations have been held with relevant government agencies and organisations representing cultural and creative communities and, based on these consultations, a strategic plan will shortly be submitted to the board for consideration. Ultimately, the objective is to provide sound recommendations to the Department of Creative Industries based on domestic market realities and global trends.
According to CDF Executive Director Raymona Henry-Wynne: “We expect that as with many other economic sectors, the pandemic is compelling a new look at the orange economy agenda to ensure that it considers contexts such as the one we are facing now. CDF would want to ensure that we in Saint Lucia are clued in to any new opportunities for our creative producers.”
In the meantime, the CDF continues to advance plans geared towards the training and development of the creative sector, details of which will be announced in the near future. With the day-to-day operations of the CDF also affected by the pandemic, the Foundation is also in the process of re-evaluating its annual work programme to redefine areas of priority focus, modes of service delivery and stakeholder engagement. This period, although marred by unfortunate circumstances, does provide the CDF with an exciting opportunity to do things differently and to create a movement that is in sync with the increased use of social media platforms and other non-traditional means of outreach.
The CDF has reassured stakeholders that all possible avenues are being explored to derive benefits for the artistic community in light of the inevitable shutdown and slowdown of the economy, and will work in collaboration with all concerned, to this end.
The CDF extends sincere gratitude to the Government of Saint Lucia on its efforts at controlling and managing the spread of COVID-19 and implores all Saint Lucians to stay safe and observe all protocols because “Together we can win this war”.