Commission going rural, aims to promote cultural heritage

National
Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture Isi Henry Leonard (right) and National Cultural Commission executive director Steven Kilanda with members of the diplomatic corp and Government agencies at the launch of the national cultural events calendar for 2021. – Nationalpic by LULU MARK

By LULU MARK
THE National Cultural Commission (NCC) is going rural and local to preserve, promote, develop and safeguard Papua New Guinea’s cultural heritage so it should be supported adequately, the minister-in-charge says.
Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture Isi Henry Leonard said this in Port Moresby last week at the launch of the national cultural events calendar for 2021, that captured the dates and venues of different NCC essential cultural festivals; majority of which were in the rural setting, together with the NCC’s 2020 annual achievement report and 2021 annual operational plan.
Leonard said the NCC did not get the funding support it deserved but it was delivering with the limited funding it got from the National Government.
“I can only hope that one day, our planners will appreciate the importance of cultural heritage and reflect that in the budget,” he said.
“This is one priority area I will push as the minister responsible to ensure the NCC gets adequate funding it seeks to carry out its work.” When taking office in January, Leonard made a point that he wanted to see that the PNG tourism industry was more people-oriented.
“Little did I know that the NCC had already been going down to the rural communities and setting up cultural festivals,” he said.

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