Tue | Dec 12, 2017

Briefing | Festival competitions contributing greatly to the economy

Published:Friday | September 8, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Meadowbrook High School students perform 'Declaratio'n at the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's Best of Dance event, held at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, Hope Road, St Andrew, in July.

What type of research has been done?

The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) recently conducted a study on the contribution of the JCDC's performing arts programme to Jamaica's economy from

2011-2017. The research methodology relied heavily on input-output modelling to ascertain the backward linkages[1], forward linkages[2] and overall multiplier effect[3] in each industry associated with each dollar spent in the competition. If J$100 is spent in the dance category, it will impact the output produced in making a costume, for example. However, to make the costume, the dressmaker who provides the service will have to get inputs from the cloth store; the stores will use revenues to conduct their businesses, which are all connected linkages. The methodology also includes semi-structured interviews with the relevant stakeholders; members of staff, festival entrants and small business operators who benefit from the performing arts competitions.

What is the dollar value of the impact?

The data revealed that total direct spending of $312 million across all parishes by the JCDC and it participants generated a backward linkage of $446.3 million, a forward linkage of $804 million and a total multiplied contribution of more than J$1.24 billion from 2011 to 2017 in the Jamaican economy. A return of almost 300 per cent per dollar spent.

What industries did patrons' spending impact?

The JCDC activities contribute significantly to various industries across Jamaica. Patrons spent more than $211 million in the transportation and communication industry, hotel and restaurant industry and manufacturing industry. Generating a backward linkage of $292.6 million, a forward linkage of $525.8 million and a total multiplied contribution of more than $791.8 million in the Jamaican economy. Spending of more than $51 million in the hotel and the restaurant industry by the JCDC, participants and other interests is associated with a backward linkage of more than J$55 million, a forward linkage of $190 million and a total multiplied effect of little over $230 million in the 2011 to 2017 season. The JCDC can increase the inclusiveness of the competition if they receive funding assistance.

How much money has JCDC spent?

Over the last six years, $101.3 million has been spent by the JCDC on festival auditions and finals for dance, speech, music, drama and traditional folk forms across all parishes. This spending has generated a backward linkage of $153.7 million, a forward linkage of $278.6 million and a total multiplied contribution of more than $450.4 million in the Jamaican economy.

Where has JCDC spent the most money?

The majority of the spending occurred in the music category, which amounted to $26.9 million, yielding backward linkage of $38 million, forward linkage of $125 million and an overall multiplied effect of $559.8 million.

What has the JCDC's performing arts contributed other than money?

The JCDC's performing arts competition can serve as a tool to increase youth involvement and use their talent as means to earn an income, which, if managed properly, can ultimately reduce youth unemployment, which was more than 25 per cent in Jamaica as of March 2017. Through artistic expression of self, young people can become more excited about the Jamaican culture and use it as a means of expression and to occupy their minds, predisposing them to channel mainly positive energies. More than 40,000 young people between the ages of six and 18 years old have participated in the JCDC festival from 2011 to the present. This could serve as useful balance to the regular school curriculum to occupy the time of inner-city children who otherwise have nothing else to do and who might get misled into crime and violence.

Linkages explained

[1] Production in one industry creates channels through which information, goods, services and money flow between transaction agents along the supply chain, creating a network of economic independence.

[2]The output or a dollar spent in one industry is used as an input or spent in another industry.

[3]The increase in total income arising from a $1 spending or injection of capital in the economy.