Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 05, 2013 (SKNIS): A total of 55 cultural artists in the fields of performing arts, visual arts, literary arts and culinary arts were able to impress upon Research and Documentation Specialist Marlene Phillips that the information gained at the “Culture Moving Forward” Workshop would be put to good use.
Ms. Phillips revealed that she was impressed with the level of questions posed to the presenters on the days designated for the different art-forms. She added that not only participants stated an interest in signing up for the St. Kitts and Nevis Creative Industry Registry (SKNCIR) but persons in the general public have also given her positive feedback.
Pertaining to the workshop’s objective of encouraging the formation of artists’ association, Ms. Phillips said that the participants of the Performing Arts group and the Agro-processing group immediately began networking and making necessary arrangements following their sessions. Day one saw 21 performing artists taking advantage of presentations by the EPA Implementation Unit, the Department of Culture, the Intellectual Property Office, the Ministry of Trade and the National Entrepreneurship Development Division (NEDD). Day two saw 14 Visual Artists experiencing the same sessions, on day three there were 10 Literary Artists and day four there were 10 Culinary Artists.
The Research and Documentation Specialist added that participants seemed to find all of the sessions rather helpful in terms of developing and expanding the marketing of their craft locally and externally. She noted that one session that participants seemed particularly enthusiastic about was conducted by the Intellectual Property Office where Ms. Claudia Jenkins addressed not only issues pertaining to copyright but outlined the various steps of being a recognized business entity such as having to register as a non-profit organization before taking the necessary steps to become a fully-fledged Non-Government Organisation (NGO).
During its session, Ms. Phillips noted, it was necessary for the Department of Culture to stress its important role in the cultural industry. It was emphasized that the Department should be the first point of contact made by artists, giving them the direct link to the Ministry. Ms. Phillips outlined that once an artist registers with the Department of Culture and SKNCIR they are assisted with applications for a skills certificate through Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies (CANTA) as well as applications for concessions and other tax breaks through the National Entrepreneurial Development Division (NEDD).