The vital role of Solomon Islands’ creative and cultural sector as a vibrant and dynamic part of the country’s economic and social landscape has been in the spotlight.

To strengthen existing and emerging cultural industries collectives, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), Solomon Islands Arts Alliance, and the European Union recently hosted a training workshop in Auki, Malaita Province, attended by over 20 cultural producers.

The participants included representatives from the performing arts, visual arts, handicraft and tourism sectors.

They worked on strengthening two existing associations and on launching three new associations, including one to support networking and collaboration among cultural producers and tourism organisations province-wide.

The training was part of the European Union-ACP funded programme “Enhancing the Pacific Cultural Industries: Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands”. The project is made possible with the financial support of the European Union and the assistance of the ACP Group of States.

“The training workshop provided presentations and hands on activities to enhance the management skills of existing and emerging cultural industries associations and collectives,” the Deputy Director of SPC’s Social Development Division, Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago-Elisara, said.

“The training supported capacity building in association formation and management, membership expansion, and constitution writing,” Ms Toelupe Tago-Elisara said.

The cultural sector provides livelihoods and income to thousands of Solomon Islanders each year.

Many Solomon Islands cultural producers find support and strength through the formation of associations and collective groups. These associations provide training, market facilitation and collective lobbying for their members and have been a crucial source of support for producers impacted by political and economic fluctuations and natural disasters.

The workshop included formal presentations on the importance of transparency, accountability and collaboration as well as training on how to develop an effective constitution and improve management. The Solomon Islands Arts Alliance provided key facilitation as a successful national arts association.

The workshop follows from two capacity-building workshops, held in 2014 in Honiara and Gizo, that aimed to assist 16 cultural associations.

The regional project recognises the contribution of cultural industries to Pacific economies and works to strengthen their position in the economy. It is implemented through a partnership between SPC, PIFS and the European Union.

Solomon Islands will be represented at the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts, taking place in Guam from 22 May to 4 June 2016. See the festival website.

Joint media release by the European Union, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Pacific Community, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, and Solomon Islands Arts Alliance.

Media contacts:
Jessie McComb, SPC Culture Officer, [email protected]
Steven Namosu Paukari, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Senior Culture Officer, [email protected]