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  • Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts plays an important role in honing the creative talents of Jamaican youth.
  • He was speaking to JIS News following a naming ceremony last evening (March 5) at the institution located on Arthur Wint Drive in Kingston.
  • The ceremony, which formed part of Founders Week activities, saw several spaces named in honour of persons, who have contributed to the development of the college, and the visual and performing arts in Jamaica.

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts plays an important role in honing the creative talents of Jamaican youth and will continue to be the cradle of cultural studies in the island.

“So many of our young people need social regeneration, they need self-affirmation, a sense of dignity and purpose, and you get that from the arts and culture. In addition to that, there is a remarkable economic and professional opportunities emerging out of the disciplines taught here, so we want more students to enrol,” he said.

He was speaking to JIS News following a naming ceremony last evening (March 5) at the institution located on Arthur Wint Drive in Kingston.

The ceremony, which formed part of Founders Week activities, saw several spaces named in honour of persons, who have contributed to the development of the college, and  the visual and performing arts in Jamaica.

They include former Principal of the College, Lady Rheima Hall, whose name now adorns the Hall of Residence; the Library and Resource Centre has been renamed in honour of former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, while the external roadway is now called Rex Nettleford Drive.

Minister Thwaites commended the institution for “lifting up the icons of our history and people,” noting that the honour will serve to inspire others to serve.

The institution’s Founders Week celebration runs from March 1 to 8.

The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts comprises six schools offering professional qualification to full-time and part-time students in the Arts from the Caribbean, North America and Europe. These are the Schools of Visual Arts, Drama, Dance, Music, Arts Management and Humanities, and Continuing Education Allied Programmes.

The college provides professional and technical training in the Arts, offering qualifications at the Bachelor, Associate Degree, Certificate and Studio Certificate Levels.

It was in 1950 that the first formal arts school opened its doors at the DaCosta Institute at 1 Central Avenue, Kingston Gardens, with a number of leading Jamaican artists collaborating on the initiative, including Albert Huie who was one of the tutors. The school later relocated to North Street, with Barrington Watson establishing a four-year Diploma curriculum to the teaching of Art, when the country gained Independence in 1962.

It was renamed  the Jamaica School of Art in 1967, and in 1976, it was incorporated into the Cultural Training Centre and moved to its new facilities at 1 Arthur Wint Drive, expanding its scope to include Art, Music, Dance, and Drama governed by the Institute of Jamaica under the Ministry of Culture.

In 1987, Edna Manley died and it was later officially designated a college in 1995, renamed as the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.