News Releases

CATALYST Harmonising Activities in the Caribbean Cultural Ecology

For Release Upon Receipt - July 2, 2018

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine in collaboration with the British Council, the European Union EU LAC Focus Project and the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts held a successful workshop on the Caribbean cultural sector at its campus from June 13-15, 2018. 

CATALYST brought together over forty participants from ten countries. They included cultural practitioners, creative entrepreneurs, academics, policy makers, international funding agencies and regional organisations to examine the region’s cultural ecology.  The aim of these discussions was to develop a more harmonious approach to enabling cultural activity in the region. Through seven roundtable conversations, participants derived a deeper understanding of how the Caribbean cultural ecology works and identified spheres of duplication, areas of critical need and opportunities for collaboration.

On the final day, the group engaged in hackathon sessions that helped them pinpoint critical strategic paths to strengthen activities in the sector. Participants conceptualised ideas in the areas of research, technical assistance in grant writing, capacity building, policy formulation and investment.  The main project that will be developed over the coming year is the revitalisation of an online portal that will bring the various communities of creative practice together and serve as a repository for past and ongoing research projects on the cultural domain.  The portal will also link visitors to international cultural trade and industry sites and will be developed in collaboration with The UWI, St. Augustine and The Sir Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy and Services, which is based at The UWI, Cave Hill.

Participants believed the meeting provided a useful mechanism to facilitate much needed conversations between the various stakeholders and to stimulate a more coordinated, inclusive and evidence-based approach to the Caribbean cultural ecology. Therefore, it was decided to make CATALYST an annual conversation that will be spearheaded by The UWI in collaboration with its partners including the British Council.




Photo Caption

CATALYST Opening (l-r) Professor Indar Ramnarine, Deputy Principal, UWI St. Augustine; Professor Paula Morgan, Department of Literary, Cultural and Communications Studies; Dr The Honourable Nyan Gadsby Dolly – Minister, Community Development, Culture and the Arts; Dr Suzanne Burke, Department of Literary, Cultural and Communications Studies; Simon Dancey, Director for Cultural Skills, British Council. Photos by Vishala Jabar


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)