IOJ Summer Arts Workshop Under Way

Story Highlights

  • The Institute of Jamaica’s (IOJ) annual Summer Arts Workshop is in full swing, with hundreds of young people expected to benefit from the four-week programme.
  • The programme caters to children aged six to 18, offering full immersion in speech, drama, drumming, graphic design, animation and computer classes, sign language, origami (paper art), music, dance, art and craft as well as personal development sessions.
  • Programme Outreach Manager for the IOJ’s East Street Junior Centre, Kerri-Ann Palmer, told JIS News that the Institute remains committed to its mandate of fostering youth development through the performing and visual arts, with a strong emphasis on promoting the Jamaican culture.

The Institute of Jamaica’s (IOJ) annual Summer Arts Workshop is in full swing, with hundreds of young people expected to benefit from the four-week programme.

It is being held from July 3 to 28 at the IOJ’s East Street headquarters and Simón Bolívar Cultural Centre, downtown Kingston; and the Greater Portmore Junior Centre in St. Catherine.

The programme caters to children aged six to 18, offering full immersion in speech, drama, drumming, graphic design, animation and computer classes, sign language, origami (paper art), music, dance, art and craft as well as personal development sessions.

Classes in Latin dance, interactive Spanish, music, poetry and jewellery making are offered at the Simón Bolívar Cultural Centre.

The sessions also feature presentations by representatives from several public- and private-sector entities offering tips on road safety and hurricane preparedness, among other things.

Programme Outreach Manager for the IOJ’s East Street Junior Centre, Kerri-Ann Palmer, told JIS News that the Institute remains committed to its mandate of fostering youth development through the performing and visual arts, with a strong emphasis on promoting the Jamaican culture.

“Jamaica’s culture must be perpetuated… and it is only natural for our children to learn their roots in a creative way to continue this rich heritage,” she said.

She noted that a key objective of the summer progamme is to foster the virtues of kindness and compassion among young people. This is in keeping with the South African philosophy of ‘Ubuntu’ which advocates humanity and empathy towards others.

Director of the Programmes Coordination Division for the IOJ Junior Centres and Simón Bolívar Cultural Centre, Jacqueline Bushay, said that the activities are organised to provide a stimulating and enriching experience for the participants.

“The focus is to help them to develop proficiency in the visual and performing arts and to generally have fun… and to develop as individuals,” she noted.

Registration for the Summer Arts Workshop is $1,000 and the weekly fee is $4,000. Discounted rates are available for government employees.

The IOJ is an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport charged with the promotion and preservation of Jamaica’s culture.

The Junior Centre, which is an integral part of the Institute, aims to encourage cultural awareness among young people aged five to 18 years. Classes are held in painting, dance, drama, music, pottery, woodwork and craft.

Meanwhile, the Simón Bolívar Cultural Centre pays tribute to the Venezuelan liberator and National Hero, who resided in Jamaica in 1815.

The facility houses an interpretive museum, library, administrative block, an exhibit hall and a 350-seater multicultural centre. It builds on the Bolivarian concept of cultural enlightenment, offering opportunities for young children to be exposed to the cultural and performing arts.

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