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The Government has included $50 million in the budget of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) to establish a secretariat to co-ordinate the legacy aspects of the Jamaica 50 celebrations planned for 2012.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia “Babsy” Grange, under whose portfolio the JCDC falls, says that the secretariat will ensure that legacies, both tangible and intangible, resulting from the celebration of Jamaica’s 50 years as an independent nation next year will be included.

“For example, we will be working with the Ministry of Education on historical data, including physical structures, which recall aspects of our history, we will be focusing on the restoration of the Ward Theatre in Kingston, sports and music museums and the creation of a Jamaican heritage facility in Birmingham,” she explained.

She said that the $50 million in the 2011/12 budget’s capital estimates will finance the setting up of the secretariat which will oversee the process.

In terms of objectives, the legacy project seeks to strengthen and enhance the cultural identity of Jamaicans; provide spaces for reflection and meditation on the achievements, struggles, challenges and the aspirations of Jamaicans; and create opportunities for economic advancement, through trade fairs, market penetration activities, expositions and festivals.

Other objectives include engaging the Diaspora in a project for national development, fostering and promoting heritage preservation and product enhancement for the expansion of the tourism market and the economic capacity of the Jamaican economy, and promoting Jamaica as a world class cultural destination for music, film, theatre arts, festivals and other events, sports and design.

                                                                       

By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter