Tue | Jul 17, 2018

Edna Manley College marks 40 years

Published:Friday | September 30, 2016 | 12:00 AM
The late Professor Rex Nettleford.
Trevor Nairne

The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts celebrates four decades this year under the theme: 'Inspiring Creativity, Impacting Lives'. It remains the only college of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean and continues to offer world-class education in the arts.

A number of individuals started programmes in both the visual and performing arts, which eventually led to the creation of the Schools of Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts at different locations in Kingston. Forty years ago, in 1976, all four schools were brought together and became a full-time tertiary institution under the aegis of the Cultural Training Centre (CTC), an arm of the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ).

Later developments saw the college being recognised as the Inter-American Centre for Caribbean Cultural Development, becoming a regional cultural resource institution by the Organisation of American States. The college continued to evolve and was later renamed the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in 1995 in honour of the late Edna Manley, OM.


This year marks a significant milestone in the college's history, and to commemorate this achievement, there will be a series of celebratory activities commencing October 9, to culminate with the Rex Nettleford Arts Conference October 2017. One of the objectives is to highlight the institution's developments over the period and raise public awareness of the relevance of an institution of this kind in the Caribbean.

On Sunday, October 9, there will be a faculty dance production dubbed Physical Labrish: Critical Coherence at the School of Dance on the college's Arthur Wint Drive campus. This will be followed by the staging of Dennis Scott's soci-cultural play Dog, directed by Trevor Nairne, at the School of Drama on October 14.

Scott was director of studies at the School of Drama in 1976, and Nairne, a graduate of the School of Drama, was student-director of Dog in the late 1970s. The play will run October 14 - 23.