UWI graduate to strengthen regional creative and cultural arts integration

Akiera Paterson

by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • Akiera Paterson intends to develop policies to unify region’s creative and entertainment industries
  • US arts and cultural sector contributed over $763.6 billion to American economy in 2015

2018 graduate of the Caribbean School of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), Akiera Paterson intends on lending her expertise to assisting local musicians and artistes to understand the business behind the creative industry.

With regional integration moving at a slow pace from a governmental level, Paterson has envisioned the process towards regional integration starting with the development of policies to unify the region’s creative and entertainment industry.

Paterson recently returned to Grenada after pursuing 3 years of studies in Jamaica with renewed vigour to help develop Grenada’s cultural creative industries. She emerged Class Valedictorian for the faculties of Humanities and Education, Science and Technology, Engineering and Food Agriculture where she attained a bachelor’s degree with a major in Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) and a minor in entertainment and cultural enterprise management with First Class Honours.

Paterson has been involved in the promotion of local cultural, serving as the marketing and communications manager and producer for Sunshine Promotions. She said the local music industry is still evolving, and local artistes must stay abreast with the business aspect of the industry for their career to remain viable. “I have worked very closely with the artistes, managers, and musicians and because of that I recognised that there is a deficit in terms of their understanding of the business behind the music… the contracts that will come to us are lacking when compared to the contracts received from international artists, therefore, they need some help and I am now in a position where I can offer some advice and expertise to make the managers of artistes more efficient so the artist would not be exploited.”

Paterson is of the view the region can become more integrated through the cultural industries which seems to connect all people regardless of nationality. “The Caribbean region has such a variety of creative people from various walks of life, but I the think that it has always been a political struggle for the region to be integrated but on an organic level. It is very easy for a producer in Trinidad to send a rhythm to a writer in Grenada, so we integrate to a certain extent, but we tend not to see it in that light. So, I feel like if a lot of these organic communications and relations can be nurtured, then we will be more integrated as a region. As a result, I intend on gravitating towards policymaking for the cultural and creative industry regionally.”

According to data released by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the arts and cultural sector contributed over $763.6 billion to the American economy in 2015 — more than the agriculture, transportation, or warehousing sectors. Paterson told NOW Grenada that her accomplishment came as a surprise as she was only interested in completing her degree. “I never set out to get these awards because I didn’t even know they existed when I first started UWI, but I only wanted to do my best at every assignment because I love working in media and communication.”

Paterson was born in Mount Plaisir, St John. She attended Sunnyside Private Primary School, St Joseph Convent St George’s and graduated from TA Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) with an Associate of Arts Degree in Social Science, with a focus on Caribbean and European History, Geography, and Sociology. At the UWI, Paterson received numerous awards including the Director’s Award for The Most Outstanding Student in CARIMAC and the Dean’s Award for Excellence and the Faculty Prize. She now set her eyes on pursuing her master’s degree in either global media communication or the cultural and creative industries.

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