The OECS Cultural Network Project was initiated to improve links between cultural organizations in the Caribbean. The project provided basic e-mail and web usage training (15 persons per country), connection facilities (5 cultural internet cafés across the OECS) and websites (there will be 4 in SVG; NLHTA, Peace Mo, Dance, PanKiMas). In St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Internet café is located at The Memorial Hall. The project also aims to help increase the web presence of Caribbean cultural organizations.
www.oecs.org/culture for additional details.
SVG chose to join the project and several cultural groups and institutions became participants. Among these was the Peace Memorial Hall, PanKiMas, several dance groups, North Leeward Heritage Tourism Association, Alliance Francaise, Potential Steel Orchestra, National Youth Council, SVG Players International.
Peace Memorial Hall was rebuilt in 2002 as the main cultural centre in Kingstown. It is managed by a board and is expected to be self-sustaining by its activities. The institution as a participant in the project agreed to provide space and connectivity for the Cultural Internet Café. They also intended to provide the management for the café. The café then enhances the services offered by the venue. However the circumstances at the Hall have changed and this results in them not being able to fulfil this obligation. Solutions for operating the café are being considered.
The Internet Café is settled (at approx. cost of $30,000) with the following:
- 3 workstations in network,
- broadband connection up and running (ADSL from Cable and wireless),
- colour printer,
- CD burner,
- tables and chairs (for maximum of 6 stations),
- Marketing materials (signs, mouse pads and posters).
- Equipment remains the property of the project
- Contract periods with review assessments
- Regional training for Café manager
- Hall will keep the Café manager informed about Hall activities
- Hall will provide for cleaning of the room
- Manager provides maintenance for equipment
- Café provides web support, shares information and promotes a culturally supportive ambiance
- Manager commits to attending local project committee meetings
- Sets opening hours convenient to project members & Hall
- Gives discounts on internet use to project members
- Co-operates with Peace Memorial Hall in smooth management of the business (internet café)
- No copyright infringement
- No business elements to be conducted which encourage indecent down loads
- Reasonable use of resources provided