Plant Jamaica project pulls heavy endorsement
Shereita Grizzle, Gleaner Writer
Ever since news of the Plant Jamaica project broke some months ago, several local entertainers have come out in support of the initiative. Artistes like Tessanne Chin, Janine 'Jah9' Cunningham, Protoje and Kelissa have all endorsed the one-of-a-kind project either by making donations, spreading the word or visiting inner-city communities to give a helping hand.
So far-reaching is its effect, the project has also gotten the attention of Tuff Gong International and Ziggy Marley, and even crossed over to the international market when United Kingdom-based reggae DJ David Rodigan gave his endorsement via social media.
The project has brought to fruition over a dozen murals, a Tuff Gong Worldwide-sponsored football pitch, and an amazing amount of goodwill around the neighborhood and among the people so far, and now they've been asked to duplicate the project in a different part of the city. In September, Ziggy posted on his Facebook page several pictures of projects they had done, saying, "Jah light shining down on Parade Gardens in Kingston, thanks to the crew at Paint Jamaica. Truly honored to be a part of this amazing project. #openyourwalls."
The brainchild of a Paint Jamaica volunteer, Andrew Bruce, Plant Jamaica was birthed as a spin-off project of the already established Paint Jamaica. This time, instead of focusing on art as a means of transforming the physical landscape of the area surrounding Fleet Street in Kingston, the project's focus will be on nature.
The project ,which started at 'Life Yard', situated across from 41 Fleet Street, where the Paint Jamaica project came to life, aims to create sustainable farms in the small inner-city community. With the aid of farmers, artists and education, empty strips of land will be transformed into a small farm with the philosophy 'Eat what you grow, grow what you eat' as their mantra.
That philosophy has, to date, led to the establishment of a small restaurant in the area. The restaurant specialises in vegetarian meals and natural juices.
The initiative also aims to educate the masses in the area by targeting schools. With plans to work alongside teachers and students, the Paint/Plant Jamaica teams will be introducing street art as well as farming techniques to children in the surrounding communities. With less than two weeks to go before the project is launched in schools, the Paint/Plant Jamaica teams are excited. Though they are looking forward to kick-starting the initiative, members of the team expressed that the project's aim of inspiring people through physical transformation remains their biggest focus.
Both Paint and Plant Jamaica found financial support through its crowdfunding initiative, and non-monetary donations from local companies. Together, both initiatives have plans of carrying the movement outside of Kingston and across Jamaica in the near future.