Fri | Oct 19, 2018

JCDC starts 55th-anniversary cycle with workshops

Published:Friday | November 24, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Donnette Zacca facilitates a JCDC visual arts workshop recently in Manchester.

The year 2018 will mark 55 years since the establishment of what it is now known as the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), first called 'Festival Office'. With an expanded mandate to "unearth, develop, promote, and preserve the creative talents and cultural expressions of the Jamaican people", the JCDC has started on the right note with islandwide development workshops.

The aim of the workshops is to help participants, who will be showcased in the 2018 Festival cycle and during JCDC's 55th-anniversary celebrations, to learn the background to their craft and to hone that talent, so it can be presented on the national stage to a global audience.

"What persons see on stage is really the culmination of a yearlong process," said Stephen Davidson, director of marketing and public relations.

"As soon as we end the annual Emancipation and Independence celebrations, the JCDC is in preparation and execution mode for the following year. Our year begins with the opening of entries and a series of intense workshops in the various arts - performing (music, speech, drama, dance, traditional folk forms), literary, culinary, visual, and unique arts," he added.

The Festival of the Performing Arts workshops are a prelude to the Festival of the Performing Arts competition, which begins in January 2018 with auditions. The workshops, conducted by trained personnel proficient in the various performance areas, aim to advance training, address areas of weakness seen in the 2017 competition, and highlight those entering the competition for the first time.