Support of the arts: Corporate entities step up
Some members of corporate Jamaica have listened to the call for help in developing the arts and are assisting with funding.
One such organisation is the C.B Facey Foundation (CBFF), which, for the past five years, has been connecting with charities, projects, and schools that are seeking support in this area. Each year, the foundation grants up to $1 million to candidates who qualify.
CBFF opened its grant application process on what it marks as 'Maurice Facey Day', August 12. During the three-month window, the foundation invites proposals focused on areas of the arts, education, and the environment.
"We are happy to make available up to $1 million in grants to each successful candidate. The new and existing partnerships, however, must fall within the mandated areas of focus," explained Anna Ward, executive director of CBFF.
"If you have a project to develop, specifically focused with, for example, an orchestra, summer-camp programmes that focus on art therapy, a visual-arts programme, projects in that realm would be considered," she told The Gleaner.
Andrew Ho, chairman of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica, is very thankful for the initiative. Ho told The Gleaner that though C.B. Facey has offered the most significant support, there are other organisations that have dedicated resources towards arts development.
Ho mentioned the CHASE Fund and the NCB Group through the NCB Foundation. National Baking Company was also noted to have offered intermittent support over the past four years - and for one of those years, assistance came directly through from the National Baking Company's foundation. "We got a one-off contribution from PetroCaribe Development Fund, who have since run into constraints because of economic issues in Venezuela," Ho said.
Another institution that has allocated time and resources to supporting the creative arts industry is the JN Foundation. "This year, JN Foundation helped us with a workshop to improve our brass musicians," said Ho, noting that brass players in the Police Band, the Immaculate Orchestra, and several other bands from across the island were included in the workshop.
"We have the Resolution Project, which is really an in-house project," Rose Miller, grants manager of JN Foundation, told The Gleaner. The Resolution Project has been introducing high-school students in rural Jamaica to the field of photography. Recently, the scope of the project has been expanded to include disenfranchised youth who are not part of the formal school structure.
"We have also supported Rosina Moder O.D. as she tries to unearth Jamaican classical musicians. We're actually still working with her now, and we still do different grants concerning arts," Miller said.
Last year, the JN Foundation also undertook a major music and education project called Science Genius Jamaica, which invited Columbia University-based Professor Christopher Emdin and dancehall artistes Wayne Marshall and Tifa to put science theory to dancehall music.
The foundation has commemorated August 12, the birthday of its founder and the founding chairman of PanJam Investment Limited, and for the past five years has marked that date as the official open call to accept grant proposals.
Ward said the proposals must give background to the project, outline objectives, and allocate a clear budget. Candidates may also not receive the grant in the full amount requested.
"If you're an artist doing artwork, we wouldn't offer the grant to produce your art. It should be a programme which perhaps is based in art and will encourage community engagement and support," Ward explained.