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Another question for the forum.

( Hate doing it guys , but we have to think on these things.)

On many occasions I've seen calls for a separate "Ministry of Steelpan". (more government involvement in the art-form)

On the surface , this may sound like a great idea . but let's consider it.
We already have a "Ministry of Culture".

Though there are other aspects to our culture , especially because of our ethnic diversity, we should all be able to agree that the two main elements of our culture are the steelband (pan ) and calypso/soca.
Therefore , they should be the main focus of any ministry dealing with culture.

My question is this.

Why should we think that creating another ( costly ) government bureaucracy would advantage the growth and development of steelpan culture in T&T in any way ?

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The attitude of the government towards the steelpan/band has to change. It should have been their responsibility to develop the instrument. Had there been a Ministry for Pan this might have happen already.

Yes Cecil , But the "Ministry of Culture " is or should be the "Ministry of pan" .

It will still be the same , is my point

If they open a MINISTRY OF PAN (beyond all THE MILLIONS IT WILL COST to set up and run the MINISTRY) the first thing they will do is to HIRE THE PARTY FAITHFUL and put them in all the jobs.


And once again you are going to have your INCOMPETENT BUREAUCRACY -- just like you have DOLLY DOODLING in the MINISTRY OF CULTURE.

So the idea of a MINISTRY OF PAN is an IDEAL WORLD IDEA. I don't think that you would want to build your BIG FANCY MANSION on a EARTHQUAKE FAULT LINE!!!

And Cecil , ah cyar argue with Claude , either.

Jump high jump low, the government is the primary custodian of the instrument for all the people, they owe it to the country to develop this resource [if we could call it that] just my opinion. I agree with what Claude said, the job now is who is capable.

Here's my opinion on this question...... there seems to be no mandate in the objectives of the Ministry of Culture to promote the National instrument. Here is what the Ministry of Culture has on their website....

The functions of the Ministry of Culture, as spelled out in the organization's organic law, include:


  • Researching, planning, and implementing cultural policies.
  • Setting in motion, overseeing, managing, supporting, rewarding, and promoting cultural construction.
  • Planning, supporting, rewarding, and promoting the preservation of cultural assets, establishment of museums, and development of local communities.
  • Planning, supporting, rewarding, and promoting the cultural and creative sector.
  • Planning, supporting, rewarding, and promoting the film, broadcasting, television, and pop music industries.
  • Planning, supporting, rewarding, and promoting literature, publishing, government publications, and other expressions of culture.
  • Planning, supporting, rewarding, and promoting the visual, public, and performing arts as well as aesthetics in daily life.
  • Planning, supporting, rewarding, and promoting international and cross-strait cultural exchanges.
  • Planning, supporting, rewarding, and promoting the cultivation of talented people in the cultural sector.
  • Other culture-related work.


Tasked with cultivating culture as an instrument of national power, the Ministry's main policy objectives are:


  1. Ensuring the cultural rights of citizens


Cultural rights, like political, economic and social rights, are basic human rights to be enjoyed by every citizen. Administering and allocating resources to the cultural sector therefore requires paying attention to ensuring that grassroots organizations and disadvantaged groups are catered for. It also requires that resources be divided fairly between urban and rural areas.

All citizens must be empowered to participate in the cultural life of the nation, as inclusion is what creates bonds within communities, society and the nation at large. While cultural rights are the property of every citizen, society and the nation as a whole become the beneficiaries, as social cohesion is founded on having citizens engaged in their country's cultural life.


  1. Creating an environment that fosters creativity


Cultural policies can more effectively shape a nation and help it achieve a higher ranking on cultural indexes. Cultural policies must be aimed at creating an environment supportive of artists and creators, such that they will be able to realize their full potential.


  1. Building and maintaining cultural values


Cultural policies must make allowance for the preservation of cultural artifacts, heritage, and national memories. They also play a key role in promoting democratic values such as freedom, open-mindedness, and diversity. This must be true for every area of culture; from publishing negotiations, community development, and arts education, to international exchanges and cross-strait talks. All of these must be pursued with the enrichment of Taiwanese values in mind.


  1. Bolstering the cultural and creative sector's competitiveness


Even as they train more personnel in the art of operating and managing a business, the cultural and creative sector must keep culture at the heart of all activities. Tapping into the commercial value of culture with the aim of bolstering the country's soft power and international influence brings a number of challenges. These include commercializing cultural and creative goods, developing new markets, cultivating talented individuals, and establishing the necessary mechanisms for global deployment.


To help the nation achieve these objectives, the Ministry will adhere to the following three fundamental objectives when developing cultural policies:


  • Staying true to the roots of culture
  • Building the nation's international image
  • Harnessing the power of technology


Cultural policy and its implementation must serve the people by helping to expand culture into the international realm and build the nation's soft power. Policies should also employ the latest technology to more effectively spread the knowledge of Taiwan's unique culture and customs both domestically and internationally.


Where, in this Ministry of Culture mandate does the promotion of the National instrument fall... at least if we have a Ministry of Pan, their job will be to focus on one thing.... PAN.

PAN is the NATIONAL instrument of Trinidad & Tobago. A Ministry of PAN will change how we see ourselves.

A Government Radio station dedicated to Pan Music, educational programs/multimedia showcasing the works of our great arrangers, steelband history in the school curriculum showcasing the works of our well know authors on the steelband movement, Dr. Kim Johnson comes to mind. Time to start the change movement.

Jerry Bain: I like the point that you made, except for one thing. If they decide to establish a MINISTRY OF PAN, the same people who wrote all the GOBBLEDY GOOK for the MINISTRY OF CULTURE will be writing the same GOBBLEDY-GOOK for the THE MINISTRY OF PAN.

So NOUGHT from NOUGHT sure to leave NOUGHT!!!

A Ministry of Pan is a stretch, since as mentioned previously we have a Ministry of Culture.  If the Ministry of Culture tilts their focus a lil bit toward Pan, then we can eliminate Pan Trinbago. Net, net a Ministry of Pan in the Ministry of Culture.

I have made this suggestion a few years back, the Ministry should be "The ARTS and CULTURE" this minister should have the capability to amalgam the diversity ethnic culture and their art forms

 the minister will be the minister of everything

Another reason why a Ministry of Steelpan is NEEDED...

About the Esther Dalton Foundation:
We're supporting the development of steel-pan artists, building communities, and helping to create new leadership possibilities for Caribbean-based youth. http://www.sokah2soca.com/2018/08/the-esther-dalton-foundation-embr...

SEE...Pan Times clip on YOUTH ON STEEL Project features Sydney Nichols


An equal opportunity for all youths, including proper training in steelband management, accounting principles, leadership and personal development.  EMPOWERMENT!


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