KINGSTON — Cultural practitioners have been brought up to speed with amendments to the syllabi and competition requirements for the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's (JCDC) National Festival of the Arts Development Programme.
More than 100 persons, including teachers and officials of the JCDC, attended a workshop held on November 16, at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre in Kingston. The workshop, organised by the JCDC, is one in a series of events scheduled to take place in four regions to update the public on the changes that will be made to some of the competitions to be staged during 2012.
The main components of the Commission's programme are the Performing Arts, the Visual Arts, the Literary Arts and the Entertainment Arts.
Presenters at the workshop were Subject Specialists for the Jamaica Gospel and Children’s Gospel Song Competitions, Leighton Jones; Festival Song Competition, David Reid; Speech, Drama and the Literary Arts, Andrew Brodber; Traditional Folk Forms, Linneth Richards; Music, Gregory Simms; and Dance, Jennifer Garwood. There were also brief remarks by the Acting Deputy Executive Director, JCDC, Noel Campbell and Field Services Director, JCDC, Marjorie Leyden Vernon.
Mrs. Vernon told JIS News that the Commission will be making changes to the Arts Development Competitions, so that the Jamaica 50 celebrations in 2012 can be one of excellence. She said the main adjustment to the Performing Arts Competition will be changes to the levels of the Competition, from Zone Finals to Parish Auditions; from Parish Finals to Parish Honours and from National Finals to National Honours.
The Commission has three main levels in executing the Competition, namely the Zone Eliminations, the Parish Finals and the National Finals.
"What we have proposed moving towards Jamaica 50 is to have the same three levels, but we will have what we now call Parish Auditions, Parish Honours and National Honours," she said.
She explained that at the Parish Honours, winners of the various competitions will receive gold, silver or bronze medals and trophies. Awards will also be presented to winners of the Best Costumes or to the most outstanding group in a particular category, she added.
According to Mrs. Vernon, the top performers in a particular class and category will move on to the National Honours.
"Not all levels will move on in all subjects, traditionally that is what would have happened. National Honours will be more of a showcasing type of event, not a competition, and so you will not be awarded trophies at the National Honours, you will be staging a national event," she said.
Mrs. Vernon said the Commission is currently receiving entries for the various competitions, and that the closing date for the submission of entries for the Children’s Gospel Song Competition is Friday, November 25, while entries for the Jamaica Festival Song and Gospel Song Competitions close on Friday, December 30.
Contact: E. Hartman Reckord