– Caribbean Press, challenges to local writers among other key cultural issues for Nov 5 meeting
Noted cultural expert Professor Vibert Cambridge has been invited to head a forum to discuss the way forward for the Guyana Prize for Literature and other key cultural issues.
Minister responsible for Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. George Norton made this disclosure last week.
He said that the forum is slated for November 5 at the theatre Guild.
Norton said that this decision was discussed recently at the Cabinet level.
“We have the people who will be involved and this is where all the decisions will be made,” he told Kaieteur News.
Minister Norton said that the University of Guyana, which has handled the organisation of the Guyana Prize, has been asked to organise the event.
“We have gotten the University involved and they will be working to get the people who will be the facilitators.”
According to the Minister, other key issues that will be discussed are the Caribbean Press, and challenges to individuals who are attempting to make a living through writing.
“We are hoping that by the end of this discussion we will know the way forward regarding the Guyana Prize.”
Minister Norton described Professor Cambridge as someone who has always had an avid interest in culture in Guyana.
Professor Cambridge was awarded the Golden Arrow of Achievement at Investiture 2016, in the Order of Service for “dedicated involvement in contributing to the preservation of Guyanese culture in Guyana and in the Diaspora.”
He worked as Programme Director of the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation in the early 1980s.
In this position he founded and organised the now popular Guyana Folk Festival.
From 1974 to 1980, he worked as a producer on the LP I Want to Build, which contained songs composed by the Guyana National Service.
In 2014, Cambridge published his book Musical life in Guyana: History and politics of controlling creativity.
He is also professor emeritus in the School of Media Arts and Studies, Scripps College of Communication, Ohio University. He is also current President, Guyana Cultural Association of New York, Inc.
Minister Norton had told Kaieteur News in August that he was seeking a forum to discuss improvements to the handling of the prestigious award.
This had come in the wake of queries from some quarters about the appointment of judges who were former winners, and allegations of favouritism.
The budgetary needs for Guyana Prize for Literature were handled previously by the Office of the President, with the Guyana Prize Committee overseeing the organizing of the award.
Issues relating to funding for the Prize have now been turned over to the Department of Culture.
The awards were slated to be handed out last year. With just a little over two months remaining, there is concern that the awards will be postponed yet again.
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