Editorial Friday 14th July 2023

Many of us enjoy the arts and culture and all other related elements of the creative sector here in St.Kitts and Nevis. But how many of us seriously consider, respect or appreciate that our artistes and others who fit the category of creatives are key players in the economic development of our nation?

Case in point, there are some parents/guardians who do not see being a make-up artiste, a dancer, a videographer, a musician-and the list goes on-as “real jobs”.  Many parents want their children to choose what can be described as the traditional occupations such as doctors and lawyers. And this topic does not mean that there should be a battle between “real jobs” because all jobs are real…but you see- it is the mindset of some people, and that is the real issue.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Lisa Pistana recently made quite a valid point when she spoke about parents providing opportunities for children to discover themselves.  

The theme chosen for this year’s Child Month March itself gives the impression that our ‘Empowering Our Children Through STEAM [Science Technology Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics] Education’ is quite telling about the appreciation and open mindedness that society must have when it comes to the endeavours and career path of our future leaders. When you think about it, the diversity of our economy and the world over thrives on the different skills and talents of all professionals and the upcoming ones.

Our federation is filled with many talented creatives! And even while reading this piece, many of you can pinpoint some of those whom you know personally, know of personally of and even those with potential that needs to be unlocked so that she or he can be known.

It must be noted that the St.Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union values the importance and significance of the orange economy because “creatives are workers too!” as perfectly put by the Director of the Creative Economy Roberitine Webbe when she spoke in the capacity as guest speaker at the Union’s conference held in October 2022. 

 In her thought-provoking presentation, she encouraged ending the stigma about creatives so as to improve equality, diversity and the inclusion of the orange economy across the country. 

As a creative herself being a professional dancer, and a young one at that in her early 20s (the youngest director in the civil service), it is no doubt that her contributions is fueled by passion, experience, exposure and genuine attention in relation to doing her part geared towards the growth and development of the Creative Economy (the orange economy) in pushing towards a bright future. The Minister is a creative himself so kudos to such involved perspectives.

Best wishes to the movers and shakers of the Department of Creative Economy in their efforts to change the mindset of our people here in St.Kitts and Nevis as it relates the arts and culture, thus giving our talented creatives the respect and acknowledgement that they deserve!