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  • The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) has received donations amounting to $4.9 million for the staging of the 2015 Rex Nettleford Arts Conference.
  • The sum includes $2.9 million (US$24, 928.61) from the United States Embassy and $2 million from the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.
  • The conference was first held in 2011 to celebrate the late Professor’s significant contribution to Jamaica’s performance arts.

The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) has received donations amounting to $4.9 million for the staging of the 2015 Rex Nettleford Arts Conference.

The sum includes $2.9 million (US$24, 928.61) from the United States Embassy and $2 million from the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.

The conference was first held in 2011 to celebrate the late Professor’s significant contribution to Jamaica’s performance arts.

Vice President of Academic Affairs at Edna Manley and Conference Co-Chair, Carol Hamilton, said that the four-day conference, from October 14 to 17, is a critical component in developing the arts as a major contributor to the economy.

She was speaking at the handing over of the funds at the college’s Arthur Wint Drive location in Kingston today (Oct. 5).

Ms. Hamilton said the event provides an opportunity for local, regional and global arts educators, policy makers, researchers and arts practitioners to network and raise awareness of the role of the arts in the society.

“The goal of the conference is to create connections and parallels that will serve to break boundaries and stereotypes and seek to grow the arts, cerate enlightened appreciation and knowledge of the arts and its intrinsic value to society,” she noted.

Counselor for Public Affairs, United States Embassy, Joshua Polacheck, said the donation is an investment in the development of the country’s creative arts industry.

He said Jamaica could become an arts superpower and the investment is part of efforts to help the country achieve that reality. He noted that the United States earns significantly from arts and culture.

Manager of Public Relations and Administration at the CHASE Fund, Hilary Coulton, noted that the event provides for valuable interaction among industry stakeholders, which is critical for the viable and sustainable development of the arts sector.

“This is the part that encourages us the most about this conference, where you are going to assemble all these interdisciplinary artists and cultural practitioners to exchange ideas and to make that critical connection between the arts and its value to society.

“What we are hoping to see is that this could be a first step towards long-term assessment of the arts in society and the development of some strategic framework that produces response to some of the challenges, which have curtailed the economic potential of the arts,” she noted.

Over the past 12 years, the CHASE Fund has invested some $2 billion in the development of the country’s arts and culture sector.

For details about the Rex Nettleford Arts Conference, persons can contact the EMCVPA at: 468-5409; 619 EDNA (3362), visit the website www.emc.edu.jm, or email: www.emc.edu.jm.