Antigua and Barbuda has assured that it is still committed to hosting the fifteenth edition of CARIFESTA in 2021.
Minister Daryll Matthew, Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festival and the Arts of Antigua and Barbuda gave this assurance while making brief remarks at the virtual opening of the Eighteenth Meeting of the Interim Festival Directorate (IFD), which was held by video conference on 22 – 23 July 2020. Minister Matthew further said that his Prime Minister and Cabinet were also committed to ensuring that CARIFESTA in 2021 was an overwhelming success.
CARIFESTA XV is expected to be held in Antigua and Barbuda in August 2021 under the theme ‘One Caribbean. One Environment. Diverse Cultures’.
We know the struggle that the cultural enterprises continue to be under, especially in these COVID times and we cannot allow culture to continue to suffer disproportionately and so for us it is very important that CARIFESTA happens and happens in a great way,” he said.
A CARIFESTA XV hosting proposal was presented by the Minister’s team at the meeting. The concept that was presented included the promoting and celebration of diverse cultural expressions. It was also suggested that advocating environmental sustainability and justice should be a priority, with a strong focus on greening CARIFESTA.
The IFD also discussed CARIFESTA XIV which was held in Trinidad and Tobago from 16 – 25 August 2019 under the theme ‘The Tangible and Intangible: Connect . Share . Invest’. Participants congratulated Trinidad and Tobago on the successful staging, and a review of challenges, opportunities and lessons learnt was done.
Discussions also focused on 15 years of implementation of the CARIFESTA Strategic Plan and the need for revisiting the CARIFESTA model, also taking into consideration how to organise festivals in a COVID-19 Environment.
The Interim Festival Directorate (IFD) is the regional advisory body to CARIFESTA. This body, which provides strategic direction and oversight of the Festival, comprises representatives from CARIFESTA host countries (past, current and future host); representatives from the arts community – Caribbean Publishers Network (CAPNET), Master Artist and a young artist (15-29 years); representatives from expert areas such as marketing -Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), media – Caribbean Media Corporation(CMC) and intellectual property – Association of Caribbean Copyright Societies (ACCS), and from the CARICOM Secretariat.
The Meeting of the IFD was co-chaired by Dr. Hilary Brown, Programme Manager Culture and Community Development of the CARICOM Secretariat and Ms. Annette Aflak, CARIFESTA XV Director, Antigua and Barbuda Host Country Management Committee.