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  • The parish finals for the 2020 National Festival of the Performing Arts Competition will begin on Tuesday, February 4 and continue until the end of March.
  • This will follow the islandwide auditions that are currently under way.
  • The competition, managed by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, constitutes five major areas of the arts – music, speech, dance, traditional folk forms and drama.

The parish finals for the 2020 National Festival of the Performing Arts Competition will begin on Tuesday, February 4 and continue until the end of March.

This will follow the islandwide auditions that are currently under way.

The competition, managed by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, constitutes five major areas of the arts – music, speech, dance, traditional folk forms and drama.

Director of Arts Development and Training at the JCDC, Andrew Brodber, said the Festival is open to everyone, and individuals do not have to be associated with an institution.

“So, any adult, any child, any person or any Jamaican from any walk of life can enter the Festival. Individuals are free to come to any of our offices islandwide and register with whatever subject area they would like to enter,” he said.

“We do not commandeer persons to bring a particular theme. It is an open festival and persons can bring whatever creative talent they have,” he added.

However, he said that persons must follow the rules and regulations of the competition, which are found in a handbook, a compilation of guidelines for the five areas of the arts.

“We do have rules and regulations that would tell the individual, for example, in a speech competition, that your story needs to be from one minute to seven minutes maximum,” he said, adding that potential entrants should stay in touch with the JCDC.

In order to move on to the parish finals, Mr. Brodber said that persons should display up to 65 per cent competence in whatever area they are presenting, and to share with the judges “enough content, knowledge, creativity that will, in the assessment, grant them at least 65 points”.

“It is not an arbitrary assessment. There [are] criteria for the subject areas, so the judges will look at the criteria and look at how ready the participants are and make a determination,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Mr. Brodber said the workshops for the Jamaica Culinary Arts Competition, which began on January 16 at Titchfield High School in Portland, will continue in all 13 parishes into April.

He said that the workshops will highlight the locally produced food item, the sweet potato, selected to be highlighted in this year’s competition, “because of its versatility in preparation, and health benefits”.

Additional information on the competition rules and guidelines, as well as the workshops, may be accessed on the JCDC website, www.jcdc.gov.jm. Participants can also contact the JCDC Head Office at 3-5 Phoenix Avenue, Kingston 10, or any JCDC office islandwide.

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