Letters & Opinion

How the Youth Economy can make Saint Lucia the Creative Capital of the OECS

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

I need to applaud the government and its organizational team for their input and involvement in showcasing some of our festivals and events. Bravo first, for a relatively good carnival, secondly for the creative Emancipation Day Street parade and the recent city La Rose presentation and extravaganza showcase that the rural groups presented.

Although I know Rome was not built in a day and things take time to happen, there is still much more to be done to stabilize the Art Forms on island.

It is okay to showcase but the efforts of most creative entities have been on their own, and the development process is still lacking.

Let us start by the acknowledgement of some of the pioneers, start to inquire about their welfare, find out what personal support they need, and be a provider to those in need.

Time for a Hall of Fame, a biography of their works, to have a feature presentation of their artistic inputs, have their efforts documented, honor those who have not been and learn from the living some of the missing ingredients, where it comes to the development of Art on a whole.

It is time to reassess performing outlets, deal with workshop planning, start offering scholarships to progresive participants and establish yearly festivals for their involvement and participation.

It’s time to revive the dying art forms such as theater and oral presentations and introduce creative contests, competition can be healthy.

Create employment in that sector, bring-in experts to assist, market and promote all creative efforts. While this seems like a mammoth task, the truth is all those things must be done to reestablish the Arts on a solid footing.

It is time to stop making promises, change has to come through implementation and performing structures, and rehearsal spaces must be erected to back-up these efforts.

Hopefully when change comes about, especially politically, it will not affect or alter the efforts of the past.

The arts can become economically attractive to many more people, and the spin offs, or extended profits can stabilize, and more people remember or realize that employment of any sort is essential.

The gains of art have to be seen and felt, the purpose has to become relevant and the system must promote art as a way of life and part of our existing Culture.

We must brand ourselves as the Creative Capital of the West Indies.

Art needs transformation, it needs new management, it needs several homes and needs to be seen and respected as part of our landscape. It has to be featured through all our media outlets and grow to reach the outside world.

So, I truly hope that what we see now is not just a figment of our imagination, but the dawn of a new day artistically. So, when talking about the youth economy, what better place to start.

The youth have been doing for free struggling on their own, I think it’s time to boost their efforts. Give them a reason to deviate from their present life style and offer them an alternative means of earning a living. Who knows they may be legends among them by way of stagnant talent that just needed support.

So, for what it’s worth, I urge the Government to continue on this path, because it seems very healthy.

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