Call for applications 2020 Mentoring by the Masters

Port of Spain: The 2020 edition of The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts’ Mentoring by the Masters Programme is opening its call for applications. Mentoring by the Masters has become a staple on the cultural landscape with the intention of preserving Trinidad and Tobago’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage, through the hands-on practical approach to mentoring facilitated by the country's most decorated and experienced practitioners.  

The programme creates a space for knowledge transfer from senior, accomplished artists and cultural workers (the ‘Mentors’), to up-and-coming peers in their respective fields. The first installment of the project was in 2012 and saw 75 persons benefit from mentoring sessions with Krishna Persad in Dance, Rodney Ramjit in Ramleela, Errol Ince in Music, Kim Johnson in Film and Zeno Constance in Theatre. It also provides a unique opportunity to celebrate the work of our distinguished cultural icons and practitioners in various art forms.

Now in its eighth year, the programme, which runs from August to September 2020, is honoured to host four outstanding cultural practitioners Helen Camps, Maria Lee, Deborah Moore-Miggins and Shastri Maharaj, mentoring in key areas of Theatre Arts, Chinese Folk Art, Tobago Folk Art-Speech Band and Visual Arts respectively. These Mentors continue to make an indelible mark on the cultural and creative landscape of Trinidad and Tobago.  

Minister Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, salutes the Mentors for stepping forward and sharing their expertise. She is encouraging persons, especially the younger ones, with an interest in developing their skill sets in any of the fields, to register and be part of this unique learning experience. According to the Culture Minister, “Mentoring by the Masters is a rare opportunity for young persons in the industry to develop their professional and personal capacities and benefit from the wisdom and expertise from some of our most talented and innovative cultural practitioners and creatives.”  

Since its inception, more than 650 persons have benefitted from mentoring and skills development workshops and have progressed in their different creative endeavours locally and internationally.

Both students and amateurs in the creative industry are invited to submit their online applications for the 2020 edition. Online forms are available on the Ministry’s website . The deadline for applications is Monday 27th July, 2020 at 12 noon. Interested persons can contact 225-4023 extensions 4058-4063. 

These are the profiles of the 2020 Mentors:

Helen Camps– Theatre Arts

Helen Camps is an accomplished theatre practitioner with a career spanning more than five decades. She started at Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott’s Trinidad Theatre Workshop and worked as an actor, adapter (Stage, T.V, and Radio), script/continuity and costumes (Film). Helen has revolutionized live theatre in Trinidad and Tobago through the Trinidad Tent Theatre, the Brown Cotton Tent Theatre Ensemble, Trinidad & Tobago Housewives Association (H.A.T.T) and played a pivotal role in establishment of the Little Carib Theatre.  She has worked regionally and internationally as a Director/Facilitator/Teacher in both the public and private sectors. 

Maria Lee- Chinese Folk Art

Maria Lee is an entrepreneur and master Chinese folk artist who has been sharing her knowledge of Chinese Folk Art with Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean for decades. Maria started off her journey in Zhongshan, Canton, China where she was involved in Chinese opera and performance.  She is a pivot for Chinese culture in Trinidad and in 1998 co-founded the Chinese Arts and Culture Studies Society.  Maria is dedicated to the transmission of the richness of Chinese arts and culture and demonstrates how the Chinese and Trinidadian cultures have merged and complimented each other over the years.

Deborah Moore-Miggins – Tobago Folk Art – Speech Band

Deborah Moore-Miggins, an outstanding exponent and practitioner of the speech band art form and an Attorney at Law for more than 36 years, Deborah was the force behind the formation of the Pepper Ants 2 Speech Band Group in Tobago. She has written hundreds of speeches for the art form and has performed for local heads of state, Tobago Heritage Festival, Tobago Carnival and the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition.

Shastri Maharaj – Visual Arts

Shastri Maharaj is a successful award winning visual artist who has showcased his work at numerous galleries such as Spence Gallery, Toronto; Gurgagon, Delhi, India; Javits Convention Centre, New York; ACP House, Belgium; Meridian International Center, Florida. He has conducted art workshops in Chile, Mauritius and Hyderabad, India and is the author of “Visual Arts for Secondary Schools” an approved textbook distributed to all secondary schools, and the “Visual Arts for Primary Schools” workbook.  In 2019, Shastri was recognized for Outstanding and Meritorious Service to Trinidad and Tobago in Art and Education, and was awarded the Public Service Medal of Merit-Gold.


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