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The Barbados Creative Economy

The Barbados Creative Economy 

This second issue of Caribbean Creatives, sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), puts the spotlight on the creative economy in Barbados.

Barbados is the first country profile to be done by Caribbean Creatives. The main objective is to capture some of the contemporary and salient features of the Barbadian creative economy and entrepreneurship.
Undoubtedly, such an endeavour cannot but examine the Rihanna phenomenon. Professor Mike Alleyne, a son of the soil, kick-starts this issue with a searching and well-elaborated analysis of the impact of Rihanna on the music industry in Barbados and by extension the whole region. This is followed up with an assessment of Rihanna’s global impact “in numbers” by Nurse and Nicholls.

Dr. Yanique Hume, through a critical assessment of the relationship between collector Mervyn Awon and artist Ras Akyem Ramsay, unmasks the art and business of patronage in the visual arts. The following section offers profiles on creative entrepreneurs and ends with a synopsis of creative start-ups that have been shepherded by the Barbados Business Enterprise Corporation.

The spotlight then shifts to institutions in the Barbados cultural economy. The first is COSCAP, which is a rights-administration agency for the music industry, next is the Barbados Museum and Historical Society which is one of the longest running institutions on the island, and whose contribution continues to expand.

The magazine then looks at visual artist Ingrid Persaud whose work spans multiple media. The importance of aesthetics and design is further amplified by the feature on the strategic shift by the Caribbean Export Development Agency to rebrand and upgrade the Craft and Gift Fair to that of “Design Caribbean”. This piece is followed by an excerpt from a manual published by the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Affairs on how Barbadian firms could gain market access under the Economic Partnership Agreement between CARIFORUM and the EU.

Caribbean Creatives concludes with an analysis of the festival economy in Barbados and offers a listing of the key festivals and cultural and trade-related institutions.

We thank all the contributors, institutions and sponsors that gave graciously to this issue.

Keith Nurse, Ph.D
Former Co-ordinator, Creative Industries Exchange
Former Director, Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy and Services

Please click here to read Issue 1 Volume 2 of Caribbean Creatives