Work continues on Montserrat’s Cultural Policy

Work continues on creating a National Cultural Policy for Montserrat, which will offer a framework for developing the island’s culture over the next decade.

Last November a public meeting was held at The Lyme to hear ideas from the community on how Montserrat’s culture can be protected and enhanced.

{FILE IMAGE OF MRS MENDES W/Sir George Martin} According to Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier Mrs. Beverley Mendes, she along with the Board of Directors of the Montserrat Tourist Board will provide policy guidance for the team created to design the cultural plan.

Sir Howard Fergus is leading the process with a team of key resource persons to include Dr. Clarice Barnes, Ms Ann Marie Dewar, and Mr. Alric Taylor. Mr. Herman Francis is the technical representative on the team from the Ministry of Culture who would also provide guidance.

The group is charged with making an assessment of the state of Culture on Montserrat with the goal of formulating a National Cultural Policy that will set the framework for the development and planning of Culture for at least the next ten years.

“The public will be given ample opportunity for input and feedback throughout the development of the policy,” explained the permanent secretary. “A wide cross section of stakeholders will be contacted to make a contribution.”

The terms of reference note that the policy should be “relevant to the current economic and social situation but also …sufficiently robust to accommodate changing environments.” The team is also charged with raising awareness at the local level of the importance of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage; review and make recommendations for any changes to any existing relevant legislation and recommend development of any other legislation as it is related to the cultural policy and which would facilitate its implementation.

Out of the policy should come recommendations for institutional arrangements which would facilitate the implementation of the policy; identification of possible sources of funds or initiatives which would provide resources to implement the national plan; and broad based mechanisms which would be required for execution of the National Cultural Policy.

Once completed, it will be presented to the Government of Montserrat for final approval.

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