- The cultural industries represent a tremendous pool of potential that can help to drive the country’s earning potential.
- Young people must realise that Jamaica’s rich culture – art, dance, drama and music - can take them to parts of the globe that others can only dream about.
- UTech is in support of the Government’s thrust towards developing the cultural industries.
Director of the University of Technology’s (UTech) Centre for the Arts, Janice Lindsay, is reminding young people that they can maximise their earning potential by capitalizing on Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage.
Pointing out that this is the age of the creative economy, Ms. Lindsay noted that the cultural industries represent a tremendous pool of potential that can help to drive the country’s earning potential.
She was speaking to JIS News during UTech’s Annual Literary Festival and Cultural showcase, held on the grounds of the institution on March 20.
“I think we see dancing [and music] as just a ‘romping shop’ and it is so much more than that. It is a very critical part of who we are as a people and it is a very saleable element of our intangible asset,” Miss Lindsay said.
The Director argued that young people must realise that Jamaica’s rich culture – art, dance, drama and music – can take them to parts of the globe that others can only dream about, as well as provide them with a competitive income.
She also told JIS News that UTech is in support of the Government’s thrust towards developing the cultural industries and recognizes that the institution has a major part to play in this development.
Ms. Lindsay further noted that UTech’s annual cultural showcase not only aims to highlight and celebrate the country’s cultural legacy, but also to remind students “of their roots and where they are coming from.”
“Essentially, we want to honour and celebrate individuals, institutions and dance companies as well as pay tribute to people who have been putting dance on the international scene,” she said.
The one-day event, which was held under the theme: ‘Celebrating Jamaica’s Evolving Dance Heritage: Step by Step’, sought to focus on close to 60 years of Jamaica’s dance legacy.
Principal, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Dr. Nicholeen DeGrasse-Johnson, during a special, interactive workshop presentation, took the audience on a journey, highlighting the evolution of Jamaica’s dance culture.
She looked at dance through the various stages, illustrating how the art form developed over time, and the link between traditional and contemporary, modern dance forms.
For her part, Special Projects Manager, Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Andrine Davidson, congratulated UTech for recognising and celebrating the importance of the arts.
She noted that the field provides an avenue for self expression, helping persons to hone their skills in various areas, including analysis, evaluation, problem solving, as well as to develop the capacity for critical thinking.
Ms. Davidson also pointed out that the JIS is heavily involved in researching and preserving Jamaica’s various art forms. “At the JIS, we know the value of the arts. We follow and we record what is happening locally in this area through our programmes,” she informed.
Student, Frome Technical High school, Cassie-Lyn Taylor, said she found the cultural showcase quite interesting and informative, pointing out that she was pleased to learn about traditional dance forms, such as dinki mini and kumina.
“I love the various dances that they performed. And I like that it was interactive, so that we could understand and feel the movements,” he said.