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Douglas: More money needed for Arts

By Melissa Doughty Thursday, September 3 2015

Dr Lincoln Douglas, Minister in the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism, believes Trinidad and Tobago (TT) is 50 percent on its way to making arts and entertainment a major economic contributor.

Douglas was questioned yesterday on how far, he believed TT had gotten in growing the arts and entertainment industry to move the country away from being primarily an oil and gas-based economy.

“It is hard to determine.

We have a goal to make TT an intentionally accepted brand.

“There are still a number of things we have to do in terms of the quality of the investment financially...

the connection to various international organisations,” Douglas said.

He made the comments at the media launch for the remake of the “Empire” hit song “What is Lov e” with international singer Veronika Bozeman featuring Khori “Ziggy Rankin” Francis held at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s Road, St Ann’s.

Bozeman is currently in TT shooting a video for the song.

A number of initiatives, Douglas said, were currently in train for the development and growth of the industry.

“I think we’re about at the half way point.

“I have to convince my Government if you say this has to be one of the strategic points for diversification there has to be a bigger investment and so far we have not seen that bump in the kind of investment to take the arts and culture forward,” he said.

Government who worked collaboratively with Caribbean TV Network, Tempo to get the project off invested $300,000 in the project. In Finance Minister Larry Howai’s 2013 Budget statement, he included initiatives for diversifying the economy through the expansion of “priority sectors” including creative arts.

Events and projects such as these collaborations helps to make the point, Douglas said.

He said if he was still a part of the Government after Monday’s general election he hoped to convince the administration to make a more significant investment.

Bozeman and Ziggy Rankin were present at the media launch as well as TEMPO’s CEO, chairman and founder Frederick Morton.

Ziggy Rankin said he was honoured to be working with Bozeman, who said she was happy to be here and could not wait to return for Carnival.

The artistes demonstrated their musical dexterity in Queen’s Hall lobby.

Two new artistes were highlighted, Lujoe and The Gifted and Arita Edmund. Ziggy Rankin then sang songs such as “What a Wonderful World” and the Percy Sledge classic “When a Man Loves a Woman”.

Bozeman and Ziggy Rankin performed the remake of “What is Love” last.



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