11 Cultural Masters celebrated at “A Year of Mentoring”

2019 has undoubtedly been an extraordinary year for Trinidad and Tobago’s cultural landscape.  Not only has the highly successful CARIFESTA XIV reaffirmed this country’s status as a premier cultural authority of the region, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts also undertook to expand and reimagine the Ministry’s flagship mentorship programme into three variations, culminating into “A year of Mentoring.”

Speaking at the Awards Ceremony for the 7th installation of the Mentoring by the Masters Programme, held on Tuesday 8th October, 2019 at Queen’s Hall, Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts re-iterated the responsibility that resided in our cultural icons to impart knowledge, thereby ensuring the continuance of cultural legacies.  And to demonstrate its commitment to this mandate, the Ministry broadened its vision to introduce two complementary programmes- a Professional Development Series, focused on building the entrepreneurial skillset of emerging creatives, and the Cultural Legends Series, facilitated by icons who would inspire and motivate emerging creatives to pursue their dreams.

Just under 150 participants committed themselves to intensive weeks of training and interactive workshops with the various cultural masters in the programme. The impact was evident at the Awards Ceremony, as mentees took to the stage, masterfully assembling written pieces, East Indian and ballet dances, presenting a riveting theatre presentation and more, into a professionally produced programme. These performances were accompanied by brief video presentations highlighting the work of each mentor throughout the programme, as well as a short film titled “The Interview” produced during Lisa Wickham’s media programme.

Minister Gadsby-Dolly also stressed the need for cultural icons to be celebrated whilst they are in this realm, as “the importance of recognizing our leaders and preserving their legacies became quite evident when we tragically lost one of Trinidad and Tobago’s brightest stars, Raymond Choo Kong. His untimely passing was a potent reminder of the fragility of life, and our need as a Ministry and Government to capture and archive the creative energies and contributions of our icons.” She thanked past mentor Wendell Manwarren, as well as Abeo Jackman and Elize Rostant for stepping forward and bringing Raymond’s vision for the programme to life.

Raymond’s life was also celebrated with a photo-signing opportunity at the entrance for all guests, as well as a reflective theatre presentation performed by his mentees titled “I was Mentored by a Master;” a fitting tribute to all mentors who selflessly dispersed their wisdom to promising creatives across Trinidad and Tobago.


Here is the list of all Mentors featured in “A Year of Mentoring”- Mentoring by the Masters:

The Art and Practice of Caribbean Classical Ballet – Nancy Herrera

Self-Development through the Theatre Arts – Raymond Choo Kong

Indian Dance in the Contemporary Caribbean – Dr. Satnarine Balkaransingh

Life Writing: Your Story; Your Voice – Barbara Jenkins

Contemporary Jewellery Design – Gillian Bishop


Professional Development Workshops:

From Script to Screen – Lisa Wickham,

Expanded Visual Process and Exchanges – Christopher Cozier,

Harnessing your Creativity & Improving your Fashion Product – Heather Jones,


Cultural Legend Series:

Dougla Dramaturgy – The “We” Experience: Re-Imagining a Life in the Theatre – Dr. Lester Efebo Wilkinson,

Choreography in Theatre Performance as Neo Caribbean Transformation – Dr. Carol La Chapelle,

Towards Vicissitudes: Understanding the Philosophy of the Paintings of LeRoy Clarke – Dr. LeRoy Clarke.

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