Dr. Hilary Brown: Can the Arts Survive Change? - A Response

Monday, March 16, 2009

These remarks were in response to a prior presentation by Pat Kane entitled "Can the Arts Survive Change?"

Warm greetings from Jamaica and the Caribbean to you all. Let me say how pleased I am to join you for your 15th Congress and I would like to say a big thank-you to Justin Macdonnell and the team of organizers for affording me the opportunity to address such a distinguished and diverse company of managers in the performing arts from around the world.

Overview of the CARIFORUM Cultural Centres ProjectThe CARIFORUM Cultural Centres Programme is a regional project of CARIFORUM governments and the European Union, which has established offices in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, and Barbados, as a first phase in the creation of a network of CARIFORUM Cultural Centres. CARIFORUM is comprised of 15 Caribbean countries that are signatories to the Lome IV Convention, through which agreement grant funds are disbursed for projects in the Caribbean. The 15 countries include the four language groups in the region (French, Spanish, Dutch and English): Haiti, Dominican Republic, Suriname, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago.

The objectives of the project are to promote CARIFORUM cultural integration, cultural identities, exchanges, and awareness in the region. The project also seeks to promote the development of Caribbean cultural industries in film, music, literature, fashion, art and craft, the visual and performing arts, and to bring about greater international awareness of Caribbean cultural forms. The project was designed to address the absence of adequate historical and cultural records, the inadequacy of training for cultural administrators and the constraints of language in the region.

The focus of my presentation today however, is on the question of how international changes - changes that arise from rapid innovations in technology, particularly in the technologies of media and communication, changes that arise from the greater mobility of labour, capital and images, the global expansion in the market economy, and of particular interest to us all, changes as a result of the commodification of cultural manifestations - all better known by the buzz word "globalisation," how these changes affect the way in which we work at the national and regional level, what concerns us, and what opportunities it may present. Read More


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