Tue | Sep 26, 2023

Red Stripe Flavours, Kingston Creative partner for Art Walk Festival Sunday

Published:Saturday | April 29, 2023 | 12:51 AM

Just two weeks ago, revellers and bacchanalists filled the streets of the uptown corridors of Jamaica’s capital for the jubilant climax of the recently concluded Jamaica Carnival season. This Sunday, however, the celebrations will continue as it spreads to downtown Kingston, with soca music and Jamaican art merging for the first time at the staging of this month’s Art Walk Festival.

Organised by local non-profit Kingston Creative, in partnership with Red Stripe Flavours, the free event taking over Water Lane and Church Street will cater to carnival lovers still suffering from tabanca. Musical veteran Agent Sasco will headline the event’s performances and Merritone Music will deliver the greatest hits of soca and calypso to create a unique and new cultural experience in the city’s downtown area.

Speaking to the conceptualisation of this major staging, Kingston Creative Co-founder Andrea Dempster-Chung said, “Aside from creating a platform for artists to earn, our objective is to transform downtown Kingston. People need to feel safe and know that they can have a fun, positive experience there.”

The Art Walk Festival forms part of the organisation’s overall efforts to regenerate downtown Kingston and its surrounding communities, while also elevating the local art industry and promoting local artists. Dempster-Chung added, “When cultural events are hosted in downtown Kingston, it removes the fear and stigma and creates an environment where more visitors come in, and creatives, especially those from the downtown communities, can benefit.”

Although not native to Jamaica, carnival has penetrated its way into local culture, creating an outlet for the communal celebration of Caribbean music, creativity, dance and lifestyle.

Dr Alpha Obika, Trinidadian communications expert and University of the West Indies lecturer, explained, “Growth of the Jamaican carnival product is still largely imported from the Eastern Caribbean, not only Trinidad and Tobago. But we do have, in recent times, more support and more inclusion of Jamaican deejays, artists, designers, event promoters and sponsors. The Jamaican creative industry has started to become much more involved [too].”

Red Stripe Flavours’ Assistant Brand Manager Cavell Robinson noted that the brand represents vibrancy and creativity and that partnering with Kingston Creative was the perfect fit.

This month’s festival staging will mark five years since its launch in April 2018, with sponsors on board also including the KSAMC, Catherine’s Peak and Main Event Entertainment Group. Patrons can expect a wide range of entertainment, including food, live music, and arts and crafts for sale by local artisans.