The inaugural Know The Business Of Your Art (BOYA) Symposium took place today, Saturday, March 21, 2015 at the UWI Cave Hill School of Business under the theme Creating Our Own Intersections: Culture at the Crossroads.
This mini symposium hosted by the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) in association with the UWI Cave Hill School of Business shared a practical vision for the evolution of the cultural and creative industries in Barbados, examined the general status of the sector, identified and discussed some of the challenges facing its viability, and explored the new frameworks being put in place to support positive transformation. The symposium also included a session with creatives to strategise on ways in which they might collaborate to strengthen the sector, particularly in the context of the proposed new cultural frameworks.
The BOYA programme which began as a seminar series in 2011 was the brain child of the NCF’s Business Development Department and was born out of a recognition that cultural practitioners must have a better understanding of the basic principles of sound business practice. BOYA was specifically designed to equip practitioners with the skills needed to determine the shape and viability of their artistic enterprise, to understand the fundamentals of financing their business and to make a viable business plan.
Today’s symposium is the Foundation’s first attempt at developing a cadre of people with the requisite skills and aptitudes to act as business/artist managers and product developers who will be responsible for taking the industrialisation of the creative sector to a new level with a view to maximising its export potential.
In speaking to the participants, the NCF’s Chief Executive Officer, Cranston Browne said that the end result of navigating our way through commercial and creative success can be rewarding if we see the benefits, are willing to adapt and to think outside of the box, with a view to driving the growth of our cultural/creative industries forward.
He agreed that the creative sector is at a crossroad, it is at a crucial stage in its lifecycle where, like many developing nations, we are redefining and positioning the cultural/creative industries as a significant pillar of the economy.
Mr. Browne added, “The sector not only has a local benefit, but it has enormous export potential and the opportunity for the generation of foreign exchange which would strengthen our economy. One of our identified major challenges to growth within the sector however, is the lack of a cadre of persons to take this creative entrepreneurship beyond survival to becoming sustainable. And this one-day, intensive symposium in association with the UWI Cave Hill School of Business, is but a part of the NCF’s expanded BOYA programme to eliminate some of those barriers to success missing from the cultural industries development ecology.”
In addition to the themed session Creating Our Own Intersections: Culture at the Crossroads, the Know The Business Of Your Art Symposium facilitated a dialogue on Harnessing the Power & Potential of the New Cultural Frameworks and projected a way forward for Balancing Creativity & Commercialisation: Ideas for Strategic Collaboration.