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NCF to be restuctured!

September 2, 2008

WITH A “HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL” 2008 Crop-Over behind it, the Thompson Administration is pushing full steam ahead with its plan to restructure the National Cultural Foundation (NCF).

And high on the list of priorities, according to Steve Blackett, Minister of Culture, is the fashioning of the foundation into a developmental and commercial body designed to boost the nation’s cultural industries and make the performing and visual arts far more profitable for the artistes and the creative designers, composers and others who make culture a way of life.

At the same time, Government intends to recruit a chief executive with a strong business management background to run the foundation, said the minister in Brooklyn where he attended yesterday’s mammoth West Indian American Day Carnival.

“In terms of the management structure, we are looking at some person to head the NCF with a strong business background,” was the way Blackett put it after attending a “by invitation only” pre-carnival breakfast given by the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.

“In terms of the commercial section we are going to point that in the way where we will try to make most of the commercial ventures that we pursue to be not money-making but safer when it comes to earning some money for the NCF.

“That has been neglected by previous boards and previous administrations of the NCF and that is really what the focus of the NCF should be – developmental, developing most of the spheres, the components of the whole cultural mix.”

Blackett, Ken Knight, NCF chairman, and Lennox Price, Barbados’ new Consul-General in New York, were joined at the breakfast by the most prominent political and community leaders of New York State and the city, including the Governor, David Patterson; the city’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg; the city’s Comptroller, Bill Thompson; Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the United States House of Representatives, Charles Rangel, and a host of others.

The minister said the NCF board was given a mandate to restructure the Foundation to improve efficiency and broaden its scope of operations.

“One of the mandates of the current board of the National Cultural Foundation is to restructure the Foundation,” he said. “Right after the execution of Crop-Over the board is at the stage where it is setting about to look at the restructuring of the Foundation, segmenting it into a commercial and developmental foundation.

“Those plans would be rolled out in a couple months. They (board) will articulate their position in the shortest possible time.

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