Mitchell: Government helping local artistes seek opportunities overseas

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell – File photo by David Reid

TOURISM, Culture and the Arts Minister Randall Mitchell says the ministry does what it can to support local musicians, artistes and entertainers who are seeking opportunities to ply their trade overseas.

He made this comment in the Senate on June 11.

Mitchell said a decision on April 1 by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to instituted a 250 per cent visa fee increase for global musicians, was an internal US government decision and not within government’s purview or jurisdiction.

But he added the ministry does what it can to help local artistes pursue opportunities abroad

Mitchell said this includes providing assistance to musiciains for regional and international travel for the purpose of work in the cultural sector.

“This assistance has allowed local musicians to and entertainers to participate and showcase Trinidad and Tobago’s rich and diverse culture in South Africa, Nigeria, Dubai, Bolivia, Grenada and Monserrat and American states such as New York, Miami, Washington, North Carolina and Texas.”

He also said the ministry also assesses the ability of local musicians to have free movement under the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) to travel within the region for work.”

Mitchell said through cultural agreements, the ministry provides opportunities for musicians and people in the cultural fraternity to to explore global markets.

TT currently has 13 such agreements with countries in Africa, Asia, Central and South America.

On March 21, Mitchell said the ministry, the Foreign and Caricom Affairs Ministry and the US Embassy collaborated to host an information session”for visas for local musicians, artistes and entertainers seeking to perform, teach or coach in the US.”