The Minister of Local Government and Culture Fortuna Belrose has met with the Board of Directors of the Cultural Development Foundation saying that the government is committed to building the relationship with stakeholders involved in the Arts.
Belrose said last week’s meeting discussed a number of areas including the relocation of the CDF building, the organization’s future role and the upcoming Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA).
The Minister said the CDF Board understood the direction “we want to go” and they are open to the relations that “we want to continue to develop with them”.
“CDF, I think, for what we’ve assessed, they’ve been taken for a ride for a very long time,” Belrose stated. “Clearly there was sentiment expressed about the hurt the organization had felt overtime.”
Belrose said the Government wants to ensure that the Arts contribute more significantly to the island’s GDP and added that the CDF must undertake a process of strategic planning to reposition the organization.
The government, Belrose added, wants a system that is more open and transparent in the selection of candidates who will represent St Lucia in CARIFESTA.
She said all St Lucian children should have an equal opportunity to audition for the regional festival.
“We want a system that is fluid, open and transparent so every parent who have children involved in the Arts can see that one day their child can get to represent St Lucia as part of that team.”
“As a government we are committed to ensuring that our team goes to CARIFESTA but we make it a point that they must contribute to that process.”
She said the Arts have been taken for a “ride” and acknowledged that the government was lacking trust among the arts community.
“We have to work the relationship with them to ensure that we get them to the place where they can go to the unknown with us.”