Launch of Mentoring by the Masters 2018 Programme – Address by Ms. Angela Edwards, Permanent Secretary of the MCDCA
May 21, 2018
Welcome to the Launch of the Mentoring by the Masters Programme 2018.
What is Mentoring? This refers to a process of guiding. It involves providing support, bestowing advice and experience from a learned individual to another seeking direction or clarification whilst traversing a particular path or pursuing a particular career. Being a Mentor has and always been a significant role and is not one to be taken lightly.
But what does it mean to be a Mentor in today’s world? Our methods of learning have shifted from the traditional instructive mode, to facilitate more conversations, more probing, and to provide coaching and leadership virtues that are being sought by the younger generation, often called ‘the millennials’. Learning is no longer about what is formally taught in the classrooms, but what resonates with those who seek knowledge, and often this knowledge must be transferred in very new and creative ways. Everyone is learning differently today.
Since its inception in 2012, the Mentoring by the Masters Programme has not only facilitated a transfer of cultural knowledge by veterans unto amateurs in the industry, thereby facilitating preservation of our traditions and artforms, but, it has stimulated much needed conversations on the industry. The programme has opened up the minds of mentees to the limitless possibilities in this sector, be it Developmental Theatre, Carnival Arts, our oral traditions, and many more. Over 425 participants to date have felt a sense of reaffirmation, that after graduating from the programme they can now confidently pursue careers in the cultural industry and allow their dreams to flourish and develop into entrepreneurship.
This year’s stellar line up of Mentors adds to the cadre of cultural professionals giving back to our community through Mentorship. To Ms. Pearl Eintou Spinger, Meiling, Wendell Manwarren, Dr. Suzanne Burke, and Felix Edinborough, I thank you for accepting this call to serve the cultural community, and our wider national community. Your valuable insights and experience will improve the lives of your Mentees in ways unimagined. Your mentees will forge lifelong connections with you beyond the duration of this programme, and I urge you to continue this process of guiding and moulding our creative minds beyond the closure of the Programme’s 2018 edition. As usual, we all eagerly await the physical deliverables and testimonials that will emerge after your intense sessions with your students.
I regret though that we cannot yet do this programme on a larger scale, as I see a clear nexus between the Best Village programme and the Mentorship Programme and hopefully we as a Ministry will build a synergy between both Programmes. This is definitely something to look forward to in the future.
I congratulate the Culture Division for continuing to infuse their ideas and technical expertise in these programmes, and I would also like to thank the media for highlighting not only our cultural programmes, but the many successful undertakings by both the Ministry and the wider cultural sector. Your coverage provides the population with a renewed and sustained sense of pride in what has always been ours, and reiterates a need to safeguard our legacy and traditions.
I extend best wishes for the 2018 cohort and may you achieve the goals you have set out to accomplish for the Mentoring by the Masters programme.
I thank you.