Speech

Jamaica, like the rest of the world has, unfortunately, been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant socio-economic shocks. An unprecedented number of Creatives and Cultural Practitioners, and related
enterprises, are now either in decline, or in dire need of assistance for recovery.

As a response, my Ministry is spearheading a series of Cultural Grants targeting Jamaica’s cultural communities and, indeed, the entire creative sector.

This initiative, funded now by ever depleting resources, is being facilitated in recognition of the fact that in these uncertain times it is our culture that our people must now turn to as a source of comfort, assurance, and connection.

As we reflect on and celebrate the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, I suggest that Jamaica’s Reggae music, a long-standing source of philosophical and spiritual guidance to the world, is needed now more than ever. We need to recall and recite the melodious strains of Bob Marley’s One Love to give the peoples of the world hope through this time of despair, and remind them of the value of community, in a time of physical distancing.

My Ministry commits to ensuring that singers, songwriters, instrumentalists, composers and the stakeholders in the Reggae music ecosystem are supported to help them continue to exercise their musical genius.

I also commit to have Jamaica host a series of ResiliArt virtual discussions, through Jamaica Creative, in keeping with the spirit of the inaugural debate led by UNESCO on 14 May 2020.

I wish you all Peace, Safety, and One Love.

Olivia Grange, CD, MP
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport

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