Current Affairs

Can Jamaica Afford to Cut Funding to the Arts?

joannafrancisphotokidsPhoto by  Joanna Francis a past student of the Edna Manley College.

The Jamaican government recently announced it’s intention to cut funding to the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts by two thirds (although they managed to find US$500,000 or J$40 million for this year’s Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival).

Can Jamaica really afford to not support the main institution that educates our emerging artists and which directly contributes to making Jamaica the powerful brand that it is.

Read more in the Gleaner and give us your comments here on YardEdge.

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  1. March 16, 2009 at 2:23 am — Reply

    Like all other countries right now – the cuts to the arts are incredibly dangerous I think. For Jamaica it sends a terrible message to our young talent, that their passion, artistic yearnings, or gifts if you will, are of no value. If that is the message to the young, the dreamers of our society, then where will our creative diversity, innovation, and inventions come from???!! We can’t let such resources go unrecognized and thus under-developed and unused; lest it be redirected in unwanted, unsavory, or even dull activities.

    Plus,a lack of gov funding puts an enormous pressure on the private sector to donate money to keep art programs going – which we know nowadays in worldwide economic strife, is a long shot. Lots of tight-fists all around.

    On the other hand – historically, during hard economic times, artists tend to create more meaningful and authentic works, for lack of the comfort to focus on funded developments of technique. Trying to be positive here…

    Think I’ll go read the article now…I’ve said my bit.

    thanks for posting!

  2. March 15, 2009 at 8:51 pm — Reply

    On the one hand, I don’t you can make a direct comparison between funding Edna Manley vs the Jazz Fest, even though they are related in a very broad sense.

    On the other hand, however, neither government has really shown a commitment to supporting the arts and art education- a lot of lip service, church services and award shows have been proffered, but very little effort has been put towards the root things that are a little less sexy.

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