KINGSTON — Since its inception in 2003, the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund has received over a billion dollars from the industry towards the arts and culture sub-sector.
Of that amount, some $114 million has been allocated to the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture mandated to unearth, develop, preserve and promote Jamaica’s creative talents and expressions.
This was revealed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CHASE Fund, Billy Heaven, speaking at the studio launch of the 2011 Jamaica Independence Festival on Tuesday July 5, 2011, at the Wycliffe Bennett Studio at the Creative Production & Training Centre (CPTC), Arnold Road, Kingston.
Mr. Heaven said that, over the past three years, the JCDC has received $80 million, representing 18 percent of all funds received by CHASE for the subsector. He noted that the amount handed out to the JCDC, showed that the organization was the largest single recipient of funding from the CHASE Fund.
“The point is clear and it is well made, because we understand the value and the potential of our cultural heritage to national development, and we wisely allocate our resources to achieve this outcome,” he added.
He lauded the work of the JCDC, and its efforts to deepen the appreciation for the performing and creative arts among students and other audiences, to achieve the highest artistic expressions.
“The CHASE Fund takes pride and pleasure in working with the JCDC in achieving these objectives,” Mr. Heaven added.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, was guest speaker at the launch which highlighted the 20 finalists in the Jamaica Festival Song and Gospel Song competitions. Two albums featuring the songs, produced by the JCDC, were also unveiled by the Minister.
The event was attended by sponsors of the Festival, relatives and friends of the finalists and senior officials of the JCDC and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
By E. Hartman Reckord, JIS Reporter