THE Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts has disbursed over $10 million in cultural relief grants to 2,152 artistes and creatives.
On Monday, a release from the ministry said Cabinet approved the grant as a one-off payment of $5,000 aimed at providing financial aid to members of the cultural and arts sector who lost income because of covid19 health and safety measures.
The ministry added that Government had approved and allocated a maximum of $25 million in cultural relief grants for disbursement.
Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell said, “We understood the impact of the pandemic on those individuals involved in culture and the arts, and we felt it was important to be compassionate during this difficult period.”
An additional 520 people were approved to receive grant cheques which will increase the total disbursement, to date, to over $13 million. The ministry is currently processing additional applications from 550 creatives.
Chutney artiste Nishard M (Nishard Mayrhoo), who received the grant, was quoted in the release. He said “This year has been especially difficult for persons in the creative industry as revenue streams have almost dried up.” He described the application process as surprisingly easy and straightforward and encouraged others who qualified for the grant to apply and access it.
Comedian, entertainer and events host, Kess Ramsey, in the release, described the application process as simple.
“It isn’t that difficult to apply for, you get the form online, you fill out all the information and if you’re missing something, they call you and remind you to get it,” Kess said.
Soca artiste Kimba Sorzano said, even though it was a small sum, he was grateful because it helped him and urged his fellow creatives to apply for the grant.
“I will urge every artiste to reach out and utilise this opportunity, even if it is to pivot.”
The ministry reminded the cultural and arts community that the deadline for receipt of cultural relief grant applications was extended to December 31.
The collection points for application forms and drop-off boxes for completed applications are located at:
• Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Head Office, Tower C, Waterfront Complex, Port of Spain
• JOBCO Building, Frederick Street, Port of Spain
• Naparima Bowl, Paradise Pasture, San Fernando
• National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) Frederick Street, Port of Spain
• Application forms and the full list of requirements can also be downloaded at www.tourism.gov.tt