JIS News

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  • The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) is planning a number of activities this month to mark the 95th birthday anniversary of late cultural icon, Dr. the Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley (Miss Lou).
  • Activities get underway on Sunday, September 7, with a special tribute concert, dubbed, ‘An evening with Miss Lou’, at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre on Hope Road, St. Andrew.
  • The event, which begins at 5:00 p.m., will feature an exhibition on the life and work of Miss Lou, displays of Jamaican cuisine, and a bandana contest.

The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) is planning a number of activities this month to mark the 95th birthday anniversary of late cultural icon, Dr. the Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley (Miss Lou).

Activities get underway on Sunday, September 7, with a special tribute concert, dubbed, ‘An evening with Miss Lou’, at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre on Hope Road, St. Andrew.

The event, which begins at 5:00 p.m., will feature an exhibition on the life and work of Miss Lou, displays of Jamaican cuisine, and a bandana contest.

Field Services Director at the JCDC, Marjorie Leyden Vernon, said there will be  recitals of Miss Lou’s work in poetry and traditional songs by some of Jamaica’s best cultural “movers and shakers” including Fae Ellington, Amina Blackwood-Meeks, Deon Silvera, Karen Harriot, and Sheldon Shephard.

Patrons will get the opportunity to show off their best bandana outfits and win prizes, during the best dressed male and female bandana contest.

Mrs. Vernon said persons who wish to participate in the bandana contest, should arrive at the venue at about 4:00 p.m. in order to be registered at the JCDC’s booth.

“We will include you in the programme and we are going to have our fashion show, to show you off and allow the audience to help us decide (the winners),” she said.

“For the competition, we are inviting persons to be as creative with your designs but also to be as decent as possible … Be creative, show us what the bandana can do and make it a family fashion show, so we all can enjoy,” she continued.

The Field Services Director said the life and work of Miss Lou have contributed significantly to Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage.

“For many Jamaicans, it is through the work of Miss Lou that our language has gone out across the world where now we have visitors coming to the island, not just for the music, but to meet the people and to share in our language, the well known patois,” she said.

A linguist and poet, Miss Lou has been described as a pioneer of Jamaican Patois. She wrote and performed Jamaican Creole since the 1950s, giving the dialect international recognition.

Mrs. Vernon noted that it is important for Jamaica to preserve the legacy of Miss Lou, so that young people coming up can understand “that, based on their creative expressions, they too can make a contribution.”

“Our contribution to development is not limited to just the sciences, economics, and politics and so on, but to understand that there are means (wealth) in contributing to culture and its development,” she added.

Additionally, Mrs. Vernon said the JCDC parish offices will be organizing activities to honour Miss Lou. Some of the events will include exhibitions at parish libraries, concerts, tributes, and the viewing of videos on Miss Lou.

“So across the island, the parish offices will make their efforts to bring the celebration to everyone and make it easy for you to participate,” she added.

Miss Lou died in 2006 at the age 87.