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Too early to call on Crop Over 2022


Too early to call on Crop Over 2022
Chief cultural officer at the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Andrea Wells. (FILE)

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It is still too early to say if Crop Over 2022 will be a virtual experience.

But chief cultural officer at the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Andrea Wells said they would review the success of the National Independence Festival of Cultural Arts (NIFCA), along with the programmes they have done over the last year, which were sure to inform plans for future stagings of Crop Over, while the country deals with a pandemic.

“We’re now all just managing the outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic and if only we all had that magical looking-glass that can tell us what the reality of our lives will be in two weeks, six, even 12 months from now. It is a little too early to say,” she said.

However, Wells said the NCF had done all that it could to assist artistes during this difficult time.

“In 2020 we would have had a fund provided by the Government of Barbados of $1 million that artistes had the option of applying to with their innovative projects for funding support. The only requirement was that the project ended up with digital content that could be used to market the artiste, even beyond the COVID moment. That was fully subscribed in terms of all the funds that were accessed and used, and a whole lot of the project would have been joined by the NCF website and the YouTube channel would have been the result of that investment,” she said.

She added for all of NIFCA’s digital programming, whenever they utilised works, skill and talents of artistes, they have been paid fees, honoraria, and royalties in order to make sure the cultural practitioners were making a fair living, while at the same time having their product showcased to the Barbadian public and beyond.

“We have ongoing the cultural industries development fund so that new and emerging artistes can also apply to the fund, and also to submit grants that will help take them to the next level in terms of getting their product up to standard guidelines, for marketing and distribution in the local and international market.

“NIFCA programmes also gave that opportunity as it was an open call for auditions and persons to submit work for possible publication; assessment and publication of the NIFCA literary anthology in 2020/2021, and we also put out a public call for Bajan Song Book for them to submit their writings, poems and experiences this year,” she said.

Wells added there was no cap on the length of writing or years of experience or years of singing for contributors.

“We really wanted the community to feel that they had an opportunity as NIFCA has always given an opportunity to be heard, and when successful to be rewarded. The reward this year would be the inclusion in the anthology for the writers and inclusion in the Bajan Song Book to be recorded by the concert,” she said. (RA)