The British Council hosted the first in a series of Culture Cafés at the Knutsford Court Hotel on November 9, 2017; bringing together a diverse group of arts stakeholders to discuss the current state of the local creative and cultural industries. The result of these sessions will then inform the strategic plan for the British Council’s new Arts programme in Jamaica.
In the discussions, questions exploring key players, key projects, as well as current needs and gaps, were answered by arts practitioners from dance, theatre, literature, visual arts, creative economy, film, culture and music – including NGO, the private sector and Government stakeholders.
“Jamaicans are naturally creative - we have generated over eight new genres of music, strains of which can be heard in almost any city across the globe, and we also have world-class authors and artists. Our creativity, our culture, our colours – our very identity is “cool” and has a global resonance. The culture café is a way for arts practitioners to pool their knowledge, network and brainstorm ways to grow the creative economy.” – Andrea Dempster-Chung, Arts PM, British Council
The event utilized the “Knowledge Café” format to stimulate discussion and ended with a 7-Day Challenge, which encouraged the participants to brainstorm an arts activity that could be executed in seven (7) days, using the resources that they already have. Coming out of the session was a list of 227 industry players and 146 current projects in the creative industries in Jamaica.
The second culture café will take place in January 2018, with a focus on art, youth and technology. The third culture café is scheduled for February 2018; and will engage industry practitioners and city planning stakeholders, focusing on using the arts for social transformation in Downtown Kingston. If you are interested in taking part in the Culture Café series, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.