Art Walk to put legs in downtown Kgn's economy - Monthly Kingston Creative event part of Kingston revival
Last weekend, in the spirit of the Wynwood Arts District of Miami, the first staging of Kingston Creative Art Walk invited the attention of over 100 patrons. Organised by Karib F.U.N.K. (a non-profit social-enterprise and development organisation encouraging artistic practice, research, creative expression, collaboration and community development), art lovers were treated to a trek featuring food, music, deejays, theatre, dance and art mounted at various locations through the streets of downtown Kingston.
"Downtown is an artist's paradise. We have a long-term vision of developing an art district with murals, performance spaces and shops selling Jamaican products, which will position downtown as the place to be for art, fashion, music, food, culture and entertainment," said Andrea Dempster-Chung, co-founder of Kingston Creative. The Kingston Creative Art Walk will be a monthly event, building on the National Gallery of Jamaica's Last Sundays.
The first staging took place on Sunday, May 27. The participating venues were F&B Downtown, the Rise Life Management Foundation, the National Gallery of Jamaica, Studio 174, and the Trench Town Culture Yard, all of which stayed open during the day, with entry free of cost. "A lot of people began their trek at F&B because of the opening event by theatre group Anomaly at 11:00 a.m., and then we hosted the after-party that [went] on until 7 p.m.," said Ueli Bangerter, owner of F&B Downtown (Swiss Stores).
Karib F.U.N.K., led by performance artist and educator Kim-Lee Campbell (Lee Rose), brought together over 17 local artists, including Anomaly, Krystal Ball, Craig Phang-Sang, Charl Baker, Justine Brown, Mary Johnson, Hilroy Bulgin, Jaycie Lewis, enKompane, Soundscapes, DJ Wixard, Ghana Music and Iren Siren. The planners say that the art walk seeks to use creativity as a force to unleash the creative potential of downtown Kingston. "Kingston Creative is an initiative about bringing real investment and creative opportunities back into the community downtown," said Doris Gross, architect, Portico Ltd, who leads the art district planning team.