THE Caribbean Development Bank has approved USD 350,000 for four projects that are geared at increasing cultural collaboration and improving the enabling environment for culture and the creative arts in the Region.
The funding came under the Enabling Environment grant stream of the Bank’s Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF). The Enabling Environment Grant finances interventions to support projects and programmes that focus on improving the business climate for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the cultural industries.
Lisa Harding, Coordinator of MSME Development at CDB, noted that several of the successful projects have a pan-Caribbean scope.
“One of our goals with CIIF is to establish communities of practice. We know that for MSMEs, collaboration is a key driver for success as it creates ways to amplify the abilities and increase the resources available to everyone. So we’re pleased that many of our grant recipients are working on projects which will facilitate participation and impact beyond the boundaries of the countries where they are based,” stated Harding.
One such project is the animation initiative, A Model for Caribbean Collaboration: The Animation Industry, which is the result of a partnership between the Jamaica Promotion Corporation (JAMPRO), Animae Caribe and TT Film Co. The USD 100,000 grant will finance value chain mapping, identification of gaps and best practices and harmonisation of training across the Region.
Five educational institutions – the University of Trinidad and Tobago, George Mason University, Barbados Community College, University of London and the Carnival Institute of Trinidad and Tobago – will be working together to deliver the Pan Fellowship Programme, another recipient of an Enabling Environment Grant. The programme will see a curriculum being developed for 12-month undergraduate and two-year certificate programmes that focus on cultural context as a key consideration in both performance and instruction of the steel pan. The programme received a grant of USD 90,000.
Another grant recipient is a multi-country carnival development initiative from Export Saint Lucia and is entitled ‘Branding and Commercialisation of Carnival in Saint Lucia, Dominica and Grenada’. The project includes an industry assessment and gap analysis, development of the intellectual property aspect of a policy framework and the development of a strategic and action plan inclusive of brand development toward the sustainability of the industry. The initiative received a grant of USD 30,000.
The fourth grant recipient is ‘Fahina: Re-branding the Creative Industry of Maya Women in Belize’, a fashion industry project from the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, Belize National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), Belize Tourism Industry Association. This project which received a grant of USD 130,000 will provide a source of economic empowerment to Mayan women, innovating new designs, developing culturally appropriate branding and creating digital platforms to access and integrate Mayan creative products into the global marketplace.
CIIF was established in 2017 with an initial USD2.6 million in capitalisation from CDB. It is intended to be a multi-donor fund, which will support the development of the creative industries sector in the Caribbean.