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Kingston designated a Creative Music City by UNESCO - TEF provides more than $3.4 million to support venture

Published:Tuesday | December 15, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Damion Crawford

State Minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, Damion Crawford, has welcomed news that the push to have Kingston designated as a Creative City of Music, by UNESCO, has yielded significant success.

This comes on the heels of the official announcement by UNESCO's director-general, Irina Bokova, that Kingston was among 10 creative music cities designated this year.

The designation resulted from a strategic partnership among the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, through the Entertainment Advisory Board (EAB), the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) and other stakeholders.

TEF has provided more than $ 3.4 million to date, to support the venture.

The process was initiated by the Ministry's EAB in 2013 and was aimed at ensuring that Kingston becomes a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, which focuses on resuscitating the economic viability of cities through arts, culture and community.

The venture received overwhelming support from KSAC, which played a pivotal role in facilitating the successful submission of a formal application to have the city designated.

The announcement also follows a recent trip by the ministry's senior director of entertainment, Gillian Wilkinson-McDaniel, and Kingston's Town Clerk, Robert Hill, to Japan to lobby for the designation to be granted at the UNESCO World Creative City Forum.

The detailed application was submitted on July 15, after several consultations spearheaded by EAB and KSAC, with partners such as the Urban Development Corporation, University of the West Indies, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Institute of Jamaica and the Planning Institute of Jamaica.

NATIONAL STEERING COMMITTEE

A national steering committee has been formed with the objective of implementing projects across the Corporate Area, which will foster the development of the creative industries in Kingston.

"I am very pleased that the initiative was successful, and it is further proof that hard work and partnerships can have a far-reaching impact. I am convinced the designation will help to boost our efforts to position Kingston as a cultural city, and will also enhance the appeal of Jamaica to travellers with a special interest in culture," State Minister Crawford expressed.

The minister also believes that the designation will enhance Jamaica's competitiveness.

"I am confident that Kingston's designation as a Creative Music City will boost our standing as a competitive destination in accordance with the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index," he said.

UNESCO's Creative Cities programme was started in 2004, as an initiative to unite cities from across the globe, through creative industries. It is policy-driven at the municipal and national level. The network is formed by 69 members from 32 countries, covering seven creative fields - crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, music and media arts.

Other cities also recognised as creative cities of music include: Tongyeong (Republic of Korea), Varanasi (India), Adelaide (Australia), Idanha-a-Nova (Portugal), Katowice (Poland), Salvador (Brazil), Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Liverpool (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and Medellin (Colombia).