The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company Limited (FilmTT) and the Arts Association Collective of TT (AACTT) distributed technical “work-from-home” relief hampers to 20 creatives earlier this month in a move to encourage and enable creatives to continue working, creating content, and facilitating projects during the pandemic.
The AACTT is an informal collaboration of over 22 arts associations including the National Drama Association (NDATT), the TT Performing Arts Network (TTPAN) and the Filmmakers Collaborative of TT (FILMCO).
The hampers resulted from a collaboration of the AACTT and project co-ordinator, Black Collar Creative, with the support lead sponsor National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB), sponsor and facilitating agency FilmTT and with the assistance of equipment co-ordinator, Baird’s Affordable Imports.
Creatives who received hampers are working on projects spanning comedy, dance, fashion, film/animation, culture and music education, theatre, and virtual and digital arts, said a media release.
Singer and vocal teacher Natalia Dopwell-Gomez expressed gratitude to organisers for contribution.
“I’m very grateful to the collective organisations (AACTT and FilmTT) who came up with the initiative to help creatives produce better quality online content,” Dopwell-Gomez said in the release. She will use her new equipment to deliver interactive masterclass sessions on vocal health and performance through online media platforms.
“The spirit of the project was to demonstrate the possibilities of synergies through collaboration and good self-governance in the TT arts community, especially among arts and culture stakeholder organisations and associations,” said project co-ordinator Janine Charles-Farray of Black Collar Creative. “The AACTT set out to do this with an understanding of mutual trust, fairness and honesty. In spite of the pandemic, there is a wealth of creative work and projects out there waiting to be developed, which can earn income and create work opportunities for creatives – if only they could get the investment needed. We especially thank the NLCB and FilmTT for the low-risk seed funding to get these projects off the ground, and we welcome a repeat of this project with partners who are seeking to make a real and lasting impact with arts and cultural workers of TT.”
President of NDATT Safa Niamat-Ali commended the selection committee for their efforts.
“Our pre-selection committee members ranged across several creative art forms and genres and they did a fantastic job during the process. We want to expressly thank them and the moderators of the sessions for their time and dedication to this first-time project.”
Triston Wallace, managing director of the TTPAN said in the release, “We received applications for so many really amazing projects, but could only award hampers to 20 recipients. Our creative sector is burgeoning with unharnessed potential. With additional corporate support, we, through the AACTT, hope to support even more projects come to fruition.”
The call for applications received over 70 eligible projects from the cultural and creative sectors. Each application was assessed on the merit of the project against criteria guidelines. A four-day selection process involving ten sub-committees comprising selected practitioners of the culture and arts community short-listed 30 applications, then cutting down to the final 20 recipients.
Charles-Farray said, “Both collectively and individually, TT’s arts associations have programmes and projects in need of support and sponsorship at this time to ensure that artists and creatives are given the space to survive and transition to working online and digitally. The AACTT also invites sponsors who may be interested in partnering in the repeat of the Work-From-Home Relief Hamper project to contact: firstname.lastname@example.org in aid of getting more artists and creatives back to work.”
Hamper recipients and their creative projects:
Afi Binta Ford-Hopson, theatre, – Arts for Life Personal Development and Skills Building
Ahalia St Bernard, theatre – New Play Festival
Anika Plowden-Corentin, visual, virtual or digital arts – To Dream Again, Art & Wellness
Anthony Gonzales, film/animation – film podcast & music performances
Brendon O’Brien, theatre/spoken word fusion – The Griot Guild
Curtis Bachan, theatre fusion, online theatre stories – Behind the Scenes
Karishma Ramoutar, film/animation – Virtual Ramleela and Dance and Special Needs
Kelly-Ann Withstrum, dance – Traditional arts and historical costumes – virtual
Kendall Layne, film/agriculture fusion, – Coleus868
Louris Martin Lee-Sing, comedy – Jokey With Lyrix Comedy Showcase
Marsha Gomes-Mckie, visual, virtual or digital arts – Exploring Words and Art
Mikhel Carter, music – Amantes Parang Video Project
Natalia Dopwell-Gomez, music – Rapid progress online master sessions
Natifa Alexander Romero, fashion – Stride Faces of Fashion
Nedra Waldron, fashion, – Evening Wear Fashion Collection.
Nisha Doughlin, visual, virtual or digital arts – Introduction to metalsmithing – jewelry design
Olubusola Chung, dance – Virtual cultural caravan
Sachelle Thomas, music – Sach and steel
Sean Hodgkinson, film/culinary fusion – Easy Tings
Sonja Dumas, film/animation – Mappin