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BARBADOS - National Cultural Foundation

Crop Over 2005


Cable & Wireless corporate communications manager Sara Odle (second right) with (from right) BET producer Bart Phillips, local host Mac Fingall, regional host Maxine Williams and BET videographers Gabriel Moscovicz and Adrian Sosevee. Cable & Wireless corporate communications manager Sara Odle (second right) with (from right) BET producer Bart Phillips, local host Mac Fingall, regional host Maxine Williams and BET videographers Gabriel Moscovicz and Adrian Sosevee.


by RICKY JORDAN

A LOCAL and regional partnership with Black Entertainment Television (BET)
is expected to raise the international profile of Crop-Over, increase visitor arrivals and benefit local artistes.

According to Senator John Williams, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, the partnership, sealed among local artistes who signed a release agreement at Sugar Reef Restaurant Tuesday night, included the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) and the National Cultural Foundation (NCF).

It specifically targets coverage of Crop-Over by BET.

"BET has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the NCF, which is significant, given the large number of people in the diaspora who are unable to visit Barbados during Crop-Over and will now be able – via the partnership – to enjoy the sights and sounds of the festival through production of a 30-minute show in conjunction with Cable & Wireless," Williams told artistes, officials and others gathered among the BET team at Sugar Reef.

He said that with the worldwide popularity of BET, particularly among ages 18 and 30, its coverage should boost the profile of Crop-Over and increase summer arrivals to Barbados.

Williams added that elements of the Party Monarch, Pic-O-De-Crop Finals and Kadooment would be aired on BET and BET Jazz, and the DVD copy of this footage used by the NCF and BTA in promoting the Follow Me To Crop-Over campaign.

"Local artistes will now have a worldwide stage on which to perform and also a market for themselves, since it is an opportunity for careers to be launched and developed," said Williams.

Saying that artistes would be offered exposure similar to that of Edwin, Rupee, Magnet Man and Rihanna, the senator said BET would "afford to these artistes free of costs what would otherwise have been almost prohibitive costs in marketing themselves".

He stressed it was an important initiative as Barbados looked at ways to increase and attract visitors through its cultural products, noting that the significant contribution made to national economies by festivals was sometimes overlooked.

Last month, BET, the top United States television network whose programming accent is on African-Americans, announced its partnership with telecoms giant Cable & Wireless to share Caribbean music with audiences worldwide – including 80 million American households – by covering Sumfest in Jamaica, Crop-Over, and the 2006 Trinidad Carnival.

The local host for BET's Crop-Over shows is Mac Fingall.



 

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