Use creative industries to claw your way out of poverty, Crawford urges

Use creative industries to claw your way out of poverty, Crawford urges

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

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STATE Minister for tourism and entertainment Damion Crawford says the cultural and creative industries are avenues out of poverty for many Jamaicans, and that people should be enabled to create careers, as well as to become entrepreneurs in the various areas.

"If there is no provider of jobs, then the person who is seeking to earn must seek to provide his own job. Those industries are definitely areas of entrepreneurship that have low barriers. The reality is that you can, with a talent, become wealthy," he said.

The state minister was delivering the keynote address Monday at a seminar hosted at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts by the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the National Cultural and Creative Industries Commission (NCCIC). The seminar was held under the theme 'The Creative Industry: A Viable Engine of Growth for Jamaica's Economy'.

Crawford emphasised that wealth is not as easily created in other sectors without the relevant capital or start-up resources. He pointed out that while some persons may feel Government should not get involved in the cultural and creative industries, it is the business of Government to participate in their development, as, over time, they have made some of the poorest people wealthy.

The state minister emphasised the economic value of the cultural and creative industries, noting that while other sectors, such as agriculture, have always been advanced for economic growth, others such the creative industries, have not been as heavily pushed.

Meanwhile, Crawford said that more companies should get involved in the sponsorship of the various entertainment events, but may be reluctant due to the activities associated with some of these.

In this regard, he insisted that the rating of events, in a manner similar to film ratings, is crucial, as it will easily inform companies about the type of events that are available for sponsorship. He said this would bring more sponsors on board, and facilitate more events.

In her remarks, principal of the college, Dr Nicholeen DeGrasse-Johnson, said the institution welcomed the discourse, noting that the arts must be integral in the discussions on economic growth and development.

Other speakers included NCCIC Chair Dr Deborah Hickling; senior economist, economic planning and research, with responsibility for entertainment and sports at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Rochelle Whyte; and deputy director/legal counsel at the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office, Lilyclaire Bellamy.

The forum was held in observation of World Audiovisual Day, which was observed under the theme 'Archives at Risk: Much
More to Do'.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 2005 approved the commemoration of a World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, to raise awareness of the need for urgent action and to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual documents as an integral part of nations' identities.

-- JIS

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