Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
At only the second staging of its biennial Rex Nettleford Arts Conference, The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) presented the first issue of its Jonkonnu Arts Journal recently.
The publication's official presentation in the Vera Moody Concert Hall on the college's Arthur Wint Drive, St Andrew, campus, took pride of place on the programme, before the opening (and main) panel.
Keino Senior, conference co-chair and senior lecturer in the EMCVPA's School of Arts Management and Humanities, handled the journal's introduction before a near-full hall. Declaring it "The first scholarly journal that looks at the arts in the Anglophone Caribbean", Senior also positioned the Jonkonnu Arts Journal within the EMCVPA's teaching philosophy.
"The college strongly believes that the promotion of research in the arts is a fundamental background essential for the development of the arts, in particular, and society in general," he said.
The publication's name was put in Caribbean context. "Since Jonkonnu is a regional phenomenon, which appears in various forms throughout the Caribbean, the name also reflects the college's commitment to Caribbean culture as a whole," Senior said.
Senior and Carol Hamilton, vice-principal of Academic and Technical Studies at the EMCVPA, co-edit the publication.
The initial Jonkonnu Arts Journal's seven research articles are 'The Impact of Dance on Middle School Outcomes and General Society (Vickie Casanova); 'Music and the Rise of Caribbean Nationalism: The Jamaican Case' (Gregory Freeland);'Doris Campbell: A Forerunner in Jamaican Textile Art' (Margaret Stanley); 'Clothes That Wear Us: Caribbean Identity and the Apparel Art of Robert Young' (Marsha Pearce); 'Caribbean Intransit': Museology in the Caribbean, a Different Approach' (Marielle Barrow); 'We are not Minstrels': Nettelfordian Political Aesthetics and the Discourse of Caribbean Development' (Wigmoore Francis); and 'Literary Black Power in the Caribbean' (Rita Keresztesi).
Professor Verene Shepherd contributes the opening 'Tribute: Professor the Honourable Ralston 'Rex' Milton Nettleford'.
Four of the authors - Casanova, Freeland, Barrow (who is from Trinidad) and Keresztesi - are affiliated with United States organisations and institutions. Stanley works at the EMCVPA, Pearce at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, and Francis at the UWI, Mona campus.
The cover was designed by Susan Lee-Quee, a senior lecturer in the EMCVPA's School of Visual Arts, while Wendy-Ann Brissett edited the copy.
The Jonkunnu Arts Journal is directly tied to the Rex Nettleford Arts Conference, as the articles included will be taken from presentations made at the biennial conference. Therefore, the journal is on the same schedule, every two years.
Copies of the journal were presented to representatives of a number of institutions, as well as the articles' peer reviewers.
After the Jonkunnu Arts Journal launch, the conference moved into the main panel, titled 'Cultural Policy: Towards Social Transformation and Sustainable Creative Industries'.