The Artists’ Coalition of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) would like to congratulate Dr Nyan Gadsby Dolly on her appointment as Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts. We look forward to firstly meeting and dialoguing, and then working harmoniously with you in the rolling out of the Progressive Agenda for the Sector in the coming years.
You are in stewardship of not only the phenomenal brain thrust and work force that is the present day Creative Sector of Trinidad and Tobago, but also the unprecedented Legacy of this nation: its 300 Trini-styled Carnivals globally; its multi-ethnic Festivals; its pantheon of artistic heroes here and in the diaspora; as well as the long list of achievements stretching back in time including Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Tony, Billboard, and BET awards and Commonwealth Book and Nobel Prizes. It is a stunning Legacy and present day cohort.
Your appointment comes at a critical moment in the history of the local Creative and Cultural Sector when a number of critical forces are converging. Nearly all local Cultural Sectors are in decline in terms of global brand cache, audience, spread of economic returns, indigenous retention, and preservation of Legacy. This has been due to refusals of past administrations to put in place the enabling environment of policy, legislation, institutions, and fiscal incentives that most nations in the world have phased in since the 1920s.
Our local collapse is happening at a time when the global Creative Industries are going through an unprecedented economic and artistic renaissance which has led it to become the second largest industry on planet Earth over the last 15 years- with annual returns of over $2.2 trillion (2001 figures). This is also happening at a time where, due to GATE and the opening up of tertiary level education- especially the formation of the UTT- T&T is churning out a generation of musicians, fashion designers, visual artists, filmmakers, animators, dancers, and theatre practitioners eager to live by their craft. This places a great duty on the State to finally get right the creation of a sustainable home-base Sector that local Creatives can live by and use as a staging ground to take on the world and expand our markets.
Given these and other factors we again would like to wish you the best in engaging these complex issues. We look forward to engaging with you in consultation, integrity, transparency, and partnership.