A Taste of Art – #sugabuzzevent, takes place at 1 Biscayne Close, Kgn 8, from 5p.m. – 10 p.m.. Tickets $500, inclusive of sweet treats, live band music, fashion show and more. Refreshments on sale.
Abba presents Birthday Bash, Cook Out, Kids Treat and Party, at Fagan Ave, Grants Pen. Music by Kills Mix.
A Stage Show is at Watchwell Square. Featuring Devin Di Dakta, Ja Glory, Ja Rooti, Jah Mason, Kiprich, Simple Touch, Jacks International and others. Admission: $600 pre-sold, $800 at the gate.
Kadi presents Big Money Popping at Mount Friendship. Music by DJ Matthew, and San Hype.
Cubanz Universal LinkUp is at New Market Community Centre, New Market. Music by Bass Odyssey, Fire Reds from South Florida, Base Star and Kemar Genius. Featuring raffle prizes of bike and flat-screen TV. graduates’ participation in meaningful economic enterprise and broker the college’s partnerships with the business community and opinion shapers to increase their understanding of the arts and its practitioners.
That should lead to the identification of emerging leaders in the arts, the development of community cultural plans and an increase in the power of the arts to influence national development. So states the position paper distributed at the recent launch in the college’s School of Arts Management and Humanities.
University of the West Indies (UWI) Professor Emerita Maureen Warner-Lewis and EMCVPA School of Drama lecturer Eugene Williams were the inaugural guest speakers. The former’s topic was The Role and Function of the Arts, while the latter’s was Heritage and Creativity.
“Art is one of the natural expressions of human living; it’s what people do,” Warner-Lewis said. “From the earliest evidence of humans’ existence on this planet, our species has shown a consciousness to recreate scenes of the life forms in the environment.”
Examples were the drawings and paintings of animals on cave walls in Europe. Moving closer to home, she said that “art may establish for the creator and performer a sense of place – in our case, a sense of our Caribbeanness”. Elaborating on her thesis that “the arts are bound up with our progressive forging of a national identity”, Warner-Lewis continued:
“Since the 1940s and 50s, there has been a growing sense of Jamaicanness. It is tied up with persons identified as National Heroes and there are nationally acclaimed figures, such as Miss Lou, Bob Marley, Mass Oliver, Usain. There is a growing sense of the uniqueness of our native language the appreciation of local food such as jerk meat, bun and cheese, breadfruit. There has been a forging of a national music – mento, reggae, skanking, deejay, dancehall.”
In the visual arts, she said, “there is the depiction of local scenes and foliage and social behaviour and customs ... . There is also reproduction of images of the African and European and Asian physiognomy of our people”.
But the arts do not always make us complacent and contented, Warner-Lewis pointed out, and “drama and narrative and visual arts can disturb accepted perspectives... , and question old ideas and traditional habits of thought and action”. She cited Trevor Rhone’s play Old Story Time, which “exposes the colour discrimination and selfdeprecation of Jamaican people” and protest songs by Buju Banton and Bob Marley.
Eugene Williams told the audience that he had been at the college for 37-years (even before it was the EMCVPA). First he was a student of the School of Drama, then a lecturer at the school and, for 17 years, director of the school.
Explaining his decision to come to Jamaica from his native Guyana, Williams spoke of the “enriching experience” he had participating in the first CARIFESTA in Guyana in 1972. The arts festival “captured the tremendous political optimism and the transformative cultural force that was being unleashed across the region Amina Blackwood Meeks Eugene Williams Professor Emerita Maureen Warner-Lewis
since the decade of dependence in the 60s”.
He was attracted to the then Cultural Training Centre (CTC, predecessor of the EMCVPA) because of his awareness of “the burgeoning world of Jamaican professional theatre, the growing stridency of Rastafari, the race and class protestations of reggae music, the growing recognition and study of traditional forms, the emerging cultural power of the Jamaican
creole which had travelled so effectively through the music and, importantly, the severe political violence of the seventies that was driven by decades of collective activism for self-determination”.
He recalled the cultural optimism and determination to build a nation state in our own image led very quickly to the establishment of the CTC and cultural movements in the Anglo-Caribbean transitioning
Devin Di Dakta