Mon | Jan 24, 2022

JCDC hosts free online workshops for performing arts ahead of 2021 competition

Published:Monday | March 22, 2021 | 12:23 AM

The Jamaica Cultural Develop­ment Commission (JCDC) is currently hosting a series of free online workshops for the Phase One subject areas of the National Festival of the Performing Arts and Arts Development competitions, ahead of the 2021 competition cycle.

The workshops, which cover all four Phase One subject areas of dance, drama, music and culinary arts, are being hosted live via Zoom and on the JCDC’s Youtube and Facebook pages, in keeping with the national social-distancing protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marjorie Leyden-Kirton, acting executive director at the JCDC, noted that the need for continued social distancing has made it especially challenging for the creative community, particularly those in the performing arts, to maintain and express their craft. Therefore, the JCDC decided to stage a special “pandemic-friendly, virtual version” of the competitions for the 2021 cycle.

“Participants for this upcoming competition cycle will be required to upload a video entry to our specially-designed online platform for private adjudication. Also, we will only be accepting solo performance entries this year as a means of limiting exposure for our participants and in keeping with social distancing protocols. Participants will also not be required to pay any ‘entry fee’ to our competitions this year,” Leyden-Kirton continued.

She further explained that there are eight subject areas for the 2021 Arts Development cycle and that these areas have been divided into two separate phases for roll-out.

“The Phase One subject areas are dance, drama, music and culinary arts, while the Phase Two subject areas are speech, literary arts, visual arts and the tradition folk forms,” she disclosed.

The traditional folk forms programme will not be hosting a competition this year. Instead, it will focus on training and demonstrations for participants due to the nature of the subject area, which focuses on group participation.

Director of arts development and training at the JCDC, Andrew Brodber, said that persons who are looking to participate in the upcoming competitions would especially benefit from participating in the workshops, as in addition to general training in the respective subject area, the focus is being given to this year’s special COVID-friendly entry process.

“It is customary to host workshops to train and guide our participants ahead of the opening of entries for our various competitions, and though we face new challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year is no different. Our participants can look forward to the impactful training sessions led by industry experts that the JCDC is known for, as well a breakdown of the new entry process and competition regulations for this upcoming cycle,” Brodber said.

The free online workshops may be viewed on the JCDC’s Facebook page: Jamaica Cultural Development Commission or JCDC’s Youtube page: JCDC Jamaica. Persons who would like to participate in the workshops via Zoom may contact the JCDC at 876-926-5726 for the daily link.