Committee formed to develop culture and heritage policy

Premier Alden McLaughlin addressed the first meeting of the Culture and Heritage Steering Committee.

A Cabinet-appointed steering committee of public and private stakeholders is helping to development Cayman’s first National Culture and Heritage Policy and Strategic Plan.

The policy will provide a framework for the government to address the conservation and promotion of Cayman’s heritage and culture, as well as education on these subjects, according to a press release from government. It is expected that the policy will be in place by early 2017.

The document will draw on existing strategies and policies that deal with culture and heritage, including the Cayman Islands Constitution, Vision 2008, and other national, regional and international policies.

The steering committee, comprised of representatives from cultural groups such as the Cayman Catboat Club, the National Archive, Cayman National Cultural Foundation, the National Trust, National Museum and National Gallery, recently met for the first time.

Premier Alden McLaughlin, who is also minister for culture, welcomed the team.

“I am pleased with the interest and enthusiasm of this committee,” Mr. McLaughlin is quoted in the release as saying to the committee. “Government enthusiastically awaits the results of your undertakings, which are vital to conserving our heritage and further developing our culture.”

The steering committee members will formulate a strategic plan to roll out a policy over a 10-year period from 2016 to 2026.

“The Culture and Heritage Policy will assist when making decisions, such as resource allocation, for things such as educational and social programs,” committee chairwoman and Ministry of Culture Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn said. “By having the steering committee in place and aiming for a broader public consultation, planned for later this year, we will ensure that the policy is responsive to the needs of the people of these islands.”

The steering committee will focus on issues such as land-based heritage, maritime heritage, subcultures, literary arts, visual arts and crafts, performing arts, festivals and leisure, tourism and creative industries.

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  1. I see some interesting faces in the steering committee for culture and Heritage Committee. However one thing that is most important is for them to seek out and recognize finding and awarding the Caymanians that have laid the foundation and is still doing so, that our Heritage stays alive. Visit the one Caymanian Museum, how many items on the shelves are made in Cayman BY CAYMANIANS. If you ask them to purchase pieces of ART hand made by Caymanians, you are told that they DONT HAVE ANY MONEY. Yet thousands of dollars are spent on every item from every where in the world accept Cayman. I have written two books before and donated them to all school children on the Island, private and public and also on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. I am an Author “Professional on Caymanian stories”. On many occasion have requested the Education department and the CNCF to assist with book publication during the past three years, and the answer was always the same “NO MONEY”
    “Having a committee that is only to be a committee is not enough Mr Premier”. The Man at the Helm of Culture in Cayman, I say much more could have been done ad should be done to encourage Caymanians in this area. We have Caymanians who are professional in Book writing and story telling, There is no interest of even having students at the schools learn this art and are stifled by the Education department and the National cultural foundation. Just to get a book written and published, No help or encouragement given, look at creative arts, song and dance, music and the list go on, but when last have any been really sought after out of the schools and given recognition for what they can do. What will really make our Heritage and culture stay alive is having persons who SEE that it is not only a talk but action on Heritage.