Transcultura launches first Cultural Heritage and Cultural and Creative Industries Training Advisory Board

The event is the result of a joint endeavour between the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean and the University of the West Indies.

Since this first meeting on September 30, the 26 participating experts will accompany and support the implementation of the capacity building programme to be offered by the Regional Cultural Training Hub established in Cuba and linked to relevant Caribbean institutions such as the University of the West Indies.

During the discussions, participants supported training options relevant to the current international context of Creative and Cultural Industries and focused on the wide-ranging characteristics of Caribbean cultures.

Some of the participants underscored the difficult conditions in which many persons in the Caribbean CCI sector operate, often with a low educational background and precarious livelihoods.

This reality makes it necessary to develop, along with academic training, the entrepreneurship of creative individuals by promoting a mind shift and business models that can turn their art into a profitable undertaking. Digital marketing, knowledge of financing variants, strategies for insertion in the international market, the gender dimension and communication skills are needed to know how to sell, position, brand, and translate their creative output into concepts that specific niches understand, experts pointed out. As they called it, this creativity literacy would be one of the core outcomes of Transcultura‘s capacity-building component and is key to achieving sustainability.

They insisted on the importance of linking training options to young people’s interests and needs. Topics such as video editing and animation were among the options mentioned.

Participants stressed the need to generate a regional platform that works as an integrated information system to provide visibility to Caribbean artists and CCI sector activities. In addition, they insisted on the need to create a mechanism to discover and promote regional artistic talents, all with an ecosystem approach to integrational training activities.

The existing online Caribbean training projects and the University of West Indies’ experience in this area will enhance efforts to make the capacity-building offer accessible from digital platforms. When a pandemic has practically cancelled mobility among countries, this becomes a critical issue for Transcultura.

The Caribbean experts’ inputs provide a striking insight into the means to tackle not only CCI training needs and priorities but also their reflections on the relationship between training and CCIs in the new context.

Jacqueline Laguardia Martinez, Lecturer at the Institute of International Relations of the University of the West Indies, moderated the noteworthy discussion. Saadia Beatriz Sanchez Vegas, Director of the UNESCO Cluster Office in Jamaica, delivered the opening remarks, and Katherine Muller-Marin, Director of the Havana Office, closed the event with a message thanking all experts.

According to participants, the Transcultura Programme has come at the right time, contributing to strengthen alliances between creators, producers and cultural institutions, at a national, regional and international level, to join forces and face the new conditions imposed by COVID-19.

The four-year Programme, launched on 1 January 2020, is a UNESCO-European Union joint initiative implemented by the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean with the support of the UNESCO Cluster Office in Jamaica and the EU offices in the region. It will reach 17 Caribbean countries during its implementation period, the Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

The Participants:

SUZANNE BURKE, Lecturer, Department of Literary, Cultural and Communication Studies, UWI, St. Augustine Campus

KERON NILES, Lecturer, Institute of International Relations, UWI, St. Augustine Campus

TANIA GARCÍA LORENZO, Economy of Culture Expert, Cuba

MARCEL PINAS, Artist, Founder Kibii Foundation, Suriname

TAIANA MORA-RAMIS, Managing Director NEX consulting, Dominican Republic

HOLLY BYNOE, Independent Curator, Seed Keeper and co-Director at Sage Garden, Barbados

HILARY BROWN, Programme Manager, Culture & Community Development at CARICOM Secretariat

SOBERS ESPRIT, Technical Specialist, Creative Industries Sector Programme OECS Competitive Business Unit

BRUCE PADDINGTON, Founder and Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival

KATHY GAINHAM, Professor of Music, Academy of Performing Arts, University of Trinidad and Tobago

JO-ANNE TULL, Lecturer & Academic Coordinator, Carnival Studies Programme & Arts & Cultural Enterprise Management, Department of Creative and Festival Arts, University of the West Indies

ELIZE ROSTANT, Festival Director, NEW FIRE Festival, Trinidad and Tobago

MICHAEL HENDRICKSON, Economic Affairs Officer, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)

ASHA LOVELACE, Festival Founder and Film Director, Trinidad and Tobago

KEITH NURSE, Principal/President, Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, Saint Lucia

ANTONIO HERRADA, Poet, Cultural and Creative Industries Specialist, Hermanos Saíz Association of Young Artists and Writers

SONJAH N. STANLEY NIAAH, Director, Institute of Caribbean Studies & Reggae Studies Unit, UWI, Mona Campus

OLAYINKA JACOBS BONNICK, Cultural Strategist, CCI Business Coach and Creative Enterprise Development Expert

DEBORAH A. GORDON HICKLING, Lecturer, Cultural Studies (Media and Cultural Economy), Institute of Caribbean Studies, UWI Mona

MARIELLE PATRICE BARROW, Cultural and Creative Industries Innovative Fund Coordinator, Caribbean Development Bank, Barbados

SYDNEY BARTLEY, Cultural Expert, Jamaica

MARION BYRON, Education Officer, Ministry of Education of Antigua and Barbuda

YURI PESHKOV, Culture Programme Specialist, UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean


ALEJANDRO GUMÁ RUIZ, Transcultura Programme, UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

JORGE ALFREDO CARBALLO, Musician, Cultural and Creative Industries Specialist, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences

ANTONIO ROMERO GÓMEZ, President, Caribbean Studies Chair, University of Havana and Cultural and Creative Industries specialist

MILAGROS MARTÍNEZ, Executive Secretary, Caribbean Studies Chair, University of Havana and Cultural and Creative Industries specialist

ANNESHIA MARIE WELSH, Head, Business Development Unit in the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of the West Indies Open Campus


JACQUELINE LAGUARDIA MARTÍNEZ, Coordinator MPhil/PhD, Lecturer at the Institute of International Relations, University of the West Indies.

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