What does the acronym CARIFESTA mean?
CARIFESTA stands for the Caribbean Festival of
What is CARIFESTA?
CARIFESTA is the region’s
roving, multidisciplinary, mega arts festival
which attracts a wide range of creative artists
from various Caribbean and Latin American
When and where was the first CARIFESTA?
The first CARIFESTA was held in Guyana in 1972.
What was the idea behind CARIFESTA?
the culmination of the idea that started in 1970
when participants at an Artists and Writers
Convention in Guyana complained about the
absence of an appropriate vehicle to showcase
the rich cultural heritage of the Region and at
the same time give recognition to its
outstanding artists and art forms. They voiced
their disappointment to the then Prime Minister
of Guyana, Hon. Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham,
who decided that Guyana would initiate the
process by organizing the first CARIFESTA.
Who organises CARIFESTA?
Each CARIFESTA Host country establishes a
Management Committee which, along with the
CARICOM Secretariat and representatives of the
Regional Cultural Committee (RCC), is
responsible for the organisation of the Festival
in its territory.
How many CARIFESTAs have been held, when and
To date, eight CARIFESTAs were hosted by seven
countries: Guyana (1972) Jamaica (1976), Cuba
(1979), Barbados (1981), Trinidad and Tobago
(1992 and 1995), St. Kitts and Nevis (2000) and
Who owns CARIFESTA?
No one person or persons own CARIFESTA. It is a
project of the RCC and can be considered “owned”
by the people of the Region and in particular
the artistic community.
Does CARIFESTA have a theme?
Each CARIFESTA had its own theme. These were for
the past CARIFESTAS as follows:
CARIFESTA VIII – 2003 – SURINAME:
Many Cultures: The Essence of Togetherness of
Togetherness- The Spirit of the Caribbean
CARIFESTA VII – 2000 – ST.KITTS AND NEVIS:
Caribbean Arts and culture…Reflecting, Consolidating,
CARIFESTA VI – 1995 – TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO:
The World’s Best Cultural Mix
CARIFESTA V– 1992 – TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO:
Together is Strength
CARIFESTA IV – 1981 – BARBADOS:
Living Images of the Sun
CARIFESTA III – 1979 – CUBA:
A rainbow of Peoples Under One Caribbean Sun
CARIFESTA II – 1976 – JAMAICA:
A Hallmark of Cultural Extravaganza
CARIFESTA I – 1972 – GUYANA:
The Artist in Society with Special reference to the Third
Does CARIFESTA have a logo?
Each CARIFESTA so far has developed its own
How often is CARIFESTA organised?
Since its inception, CARIFESTA has been held at
2-4 year intervals. However, there was a long
break of eleven years (1981-1992) when the
Festival was not held.
What does CARIFESTA mean for the region?
From its inception in 1972, the Caribbean
Festival of Arts also known as CARIFESTA, has
reinforced the common social and historical
bonds of the Region's peoples. CARIFESTA is
considered a manifestation of Caribbean Culture
and Caribbean identity and a tool to strengthen
Mention is made of a New CARIFESTA since 2004.
What is the reason for this and what would make
the New CARIFESTA different from the previous
CARIFESTA has had great success in terms of its
entertainment value and in exposing the artists
of the Caribbean to the creative activities of
other regional artistes.
Despite its success in the region, the
staging of CARIFESTA
has demonstrated deficiencies in various areas,
event planning and management, funding and
marketing, among others.
Following recommendations from the Symposium
“Cultural Connection: Linking the Past with the
Future through the Creative Arts, during
CARIFESTA VIII in Suriname, August 2003,
Ministers at the Tenth Meeting of COHSOD, in
Guyana in October 2003, took the decision to
establish a CARICOM Task Force on CARIFESTA to
formulate a strategy for the restructuring of
The Twenty-fifth Meeting of the Conference of
Heads of Government which was convened in
Grenada on 4 – 8 July, 2004, endorsed the
Council for Human and Social Development’s (COHSOD)
new vision of CARIFESTA: “To position CARIFESTA
as a world-renowned, hallmark festival of
Caribbean cultural and artistic excellence, that
generates economic benefits, unites the Region
and excites all peoples.”
CARIFESTA’s new mission statement is: “To stage
a mega multidisciplinary roving festival that
develops Caribbean Arts and Culture.”
The Strategic Plan describes the long-term
mission and vision for CARIFESTA and outlines
key objectives, critical success factors, and
broad strategies for reinventing CARIFESTA. It
also articulates the current position of
CARIFESTA, then outlines a future desired
position and the methods needed to achieve it.
The strategic plan sets the stage for the
development of a business plan which would
outline specific operational and action steps
needed to implement strategies, and establish
quantifiable revenue and expenditure budgets.
When and where is the next CARIFESTA being held?
The next CARIFESTA is CARIFESTA IX and will be
hosted by Trinidad and Tobago from 22 September
to 1 October 2006.
The theme of this ninth edition of the festival
is: Celebrating Our People, Contesting the World
More information can be found at
What are the objectives of CARIFESTA?
The main objectives of CARIFESTA are:
To establish and celebrate the arts
To maximize people participation in the arts
To deepen the awareness and knowledge of the
diverse aspirations within the Caribbean
To positively advance our culture at home,
throughout the diaspora, and the world
To foster a vision of Caribbean unit
To expose children and Caribbean youth to
To encourage excellence, and
To promote the development of cultural
industries and merchandising
Who can participate in CARIFESTA?
Every artist and/or cultural worker in the
Caribbean region can participate in CARIFESTA.
Invitations are also sent to Latin American
countries.Visitors and investors from the region
as well as from abroad, are most welcome.
What are some of the main elements of CARIFESTA?
CARIFESTA will highlight several aspects of the
performing, literary, visual and other arts