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Mighty Gabby sends message of encouragement at CED workshop

Mighty Gabby sends message of encouragement at CED workshop

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In order for the artists of the Caribbean to shine, they have to stop keeping their talents a secret. This was expressed by Barbadian Calypsonian and Cultural Ambassador Anthony “Mighty Gabby” Carter.{{more}}

Carter was at time delivering the feature address at the Centre for Enterprise Development Inc. (CED) Business Gateway Project and Ministry of Culture’s ‘So You are Creative’ Workshop for artists and cultural icons. The workshop took place at the Kingstown Methodist Church Hall on Wednesday, December 1, 2010.

Carter, stating that he has seen some of the best artists in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said that it is a recurring trend for people to hide their talent, not only in St. Vincent, but throughout the Caribbean.

The Calypsonian, known for songs such as “Emmerton” and “Jack”, said that countries have not yet recognized the importance of artists to the economy.

Speaking about the Carnival season in countries such as Trinidad and Barbados, Carter said that both countries realized the great revenue earned from such festivals, adding that in Barbados, Crop Over was said to be a $105 million industry.

He, however, stated that there remains an issue with the promotion of Caribbean artists in their own country as well. Carter noted that during festival seasons, such as Carnival, the music of the local and regional artists is well promoted, but afterwards, radio stations “totally forget that we are Caribbean people who need to hear ourselves.”

He added that artists get about five per cent investment from the revenue gained from festivals, adding that the average food vendors at these activities gain about three to four times the amount that the artists make.

“Something is wrong with that. We have to correct it, and we have to correct it now,” he said.

Carter encouraged the fellow artists in the audience to believe that they are great.

“So understand that the first thing we have to do is to stamp ourselves and say that we are great, because we are great and we come from great people,” he said. Carter noted that the Caribbean people came from Africa where the first mathematicians and reader of stars were discovered.

Commenting on the importance of artistes in the world, Carter stated that the death of the King of Pop Michael Jackson shadowed the historic death of iconic President of the United States John Kennedy. He also highlighted that of all the Kings and Queens of England, William Shakespeare, who he referred to as “Bill”, will be remembered more for his talent in poetry and theatre.

He added that St. Vincent has creative people, but on a small scale. “Some of the most creative costumes I see in my life, I saw in this country, but in a small scale,” he said, referring to the talent portrayed in Mas Bands. He added that the country needs to have its talent promoted on a wider scale.

The workshop featured key note speeches from international and leading experts, including Kienda Hoji, Head of Commercial Music, University of Westminster, Josanne Leonard, Entertainment Industry expert from Trinidad and Tobago, Diana Derrick, copyright specialist and Christopher Nathan, Programme Administrator of the Caribbean Fashion Academy, University of Trinidad and Tobago.

Remarks were also made by Minister of Culture René Baptiste, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Telecommunications Science and Technology Shirla Francis and General Manager of CED Felix Lewis. (OS)

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