The Ministry of Health and Culture and the steering committee behind the creation of the Cayman Islands’ first National Culture and Heritage Policy and Strategic Plan are ready to roll out the public consultation phase for the historic draft document.
The draft policy was approved to go out to public consultation by Cabinet on Dec. 13, 2016, with the aim to better preserve the heritage of the Cayman Islands, and comprehensively develop the country’s rich and diverse cultural sector.
“This policy and strategic plan is an expression of this government’s belief that we need to adopt and implement a set of coherent principles and objectives to foster, nurture and support the cultural expression of the people of the Cayman Islands, preserve our heritage and help grow our individual and collective knowledge of the arts and creative industries in supporting the sustainable development of our Islands,” said Premier Alden McLaughlin.
Ministerial Councillor for Culture, Roy McTaggart, said: “The Ministry, steering committee, and members of the six subcommittees, totalling about 70 people, have worked diligently throughout much of 2016 on this draft document. We thank them for their work to-date and we are now ready to take this policy to the public to garner feedback, starting today, Jan. 3, 2017.”
“This policy is for the people of Cayman Islands,” Jennifer Ahearn Ministry of Culture Chief Officer, said. She is the Culture & Heritage Steering Committee’s chairperson. “The goal of this policy is to generate freedom of cultural expression and creativity within the Cayman Islands, with the aim to safeguard the Islands’ heritage and ensure sustainable development for all aspects of culture and heritage in the future. We encourage and welcome everyone’s input.”
The public consultation plan is designed to give the public an opportunity to review the document and provide feedback on its vision, values and strategic objectives. The seven policy directions are built around: access, governance, legislation, knowledge, development, status of the artist and enterprise.
“At the end of the day this is a policy for the people and we want to make sure everyone has a voice and is heard,” Ministry of Culture Deputy Chief Officer Nancy Barnard explained.
The policy awareness campaign will consist of in-depth interviews explaining all aspects of the policy, interviews with members of the public to hear their views, and various public service announcements. Open House sessions in Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are also being organised. Members of the public are asked to stay connected to local media outlets for details of these meetings.
In addition, a feedback form and a frequently asked question form are available at the front desk of the Government Administration Building and online. To facilitate feedback the feedback form contains specific questions for the public regarding the policy and strategic plan’s content. The frequently asked questions addresses common questions that anyone may have while reading the draft.
Feedback received during the public consultation period will be used to further strengthen the framework for the new policy, which is expected to be rolled out over a 10-year period from 2017 to 2026.
A Cabinet-appointed steering committee of public and private sector stakeholders has worked closely with the Ministry over the past ten months to research and develop situational analyses for their respective sectors, in regards to all matters relating to the development of this new policy and plan.
A cross-section of representatives from various cultural entities including the Cayman Maritime Heritage Foundation/Cayman Catboat Club, the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, the National Trust, National Museum and National Gallery make up the committee, which convened in February 2016 to develop the document.
Members of the public can access the feedback form at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/culturepolicy
Interested persons should submit all comments by Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.
Also, visit the website: http://www.ministryofhealth.gov.ky/culture-policy