Kingston, March 12 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says Kingston is among the first group of cities selected by UNESCO to participate in its community based Inventorying of intangible cultural heritage in urban contexts pilot project.
The Minister made the announcement at the opening of a week-long workshop examining the types of intangible cultural heritage that exists within communities in Kingston on Monday at the Trench Town Multipurpose Centre.
“Many Jamaicans associate intangible cultural heritage with the rural areas and of a past era when our elders would transmit to us, knowledge about plants, Anansi stories, duppies and how to make the best run dung. This workshop, will, however, for the first time, examine what intangible cultural heritage exists within an urban space. The fact that Jamaica and Kingston, in particular, was selected for this pilot is a signal from UNESCO of the respect it has for the island’s culture and cultural elements,” Minister Grange said.
The workshop includes participants from the communities of Trench Town and Port Royal.
The UNESCO project seeks to contribute to the international debate on safeguarding living heritage in urban contexts with links to sustainable development through community based inventories of intangible cultural heritage in nine cities in different regions of the world.
The first group of pilot cities will also involve communities in George Town (Malaysia) and Harare (Zimbabwe).
Kingston, 12 February 2019 – As part of its ongoing programme of support to the development of local community radio, the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO (an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport) and the UNESCO Caribbean Office recently sponsored a 3-day training workshop for volunteers of the Accompong Maroon community radio station, Abeng 88.7 FM.
Conducted under the theme: ‘Building a Sustainable Community Radio Station’, the participants received training in news and script-writing, programme production, interview techniques, digital editing, on-air presentation, and studio equipment maintenance.
30 volunteers from the Accompong community benefitted from the training.
Station Manager for Abeng 88.7 FM, Mrs Norma Rowe Edwards, said the training of the station volunteers was timely and welcomed as it equipped them with important skills and techniques they can use to better contribute to the work and functioning of the station.
“As a community radio station, volunteer effort is essential,” Mrs Rowe noted, adding that “the training of the volunteers forms an important part of the strategy towards making Abeng 88.7 FM a viable community radio station.”
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Chair of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO and the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Culture, underscored the commitment of the Commission in building a sustainable Accompong community radio station.
Minister Grange said,
“The capacity of the station has been strengthened as a result of the training and the people of Accompong and adjoining communities can anticipate not only better programmes but greater people participation in creating content for the radio station.”
Secretary-General, Everton Hannam, said the National Commission remains committed to supporting the further development of Abeng 88.7 FM so it can become a model station within the UNESCO family of community radio stations.
The station was set up two years ago with funding from UNESCO.
Kingston, January 24 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that Jamaica will establish a National Anti-Doping Compliance Committee as part of measures to enhance the national programme to keep sports clean.
The Committee will ensure that Jamaica conforms to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s code and UNESCO’s International Convention against Doping in Sport.
“We want to ensure that our athletes are playing clean and fair,” said Minister Grange who made the announcement at a symposium organised by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Thursday (January 24).
According to the Minister, the establishment of the Committee will among other things “improve information sharing, promote planning, design and delivery of joint initiatives and enhance the anti-doping programme’s impact and effectiveness.”
She said that the Committee will also ensure a more comprehensive response to the national compliance report to be submitted to UNESCO.
“I am confident that Jamaica will be ranked compliant, however, in order for Jamaica to be successful, there has to be the collaborative effort of all entities and stakeholders in the fight against doping in sport,”
Minister Grange said.
Under the International Convention against Doping in Sport Jamaica has a responsibility to report bi-annually on its efforts for a doping free environment in the country.
The National Anti-Doping Compliance Committee will include representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the private sector, tertiary institutions, law enforcement and health.
Kingston 21 January 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has announced that the most senior official with responsibility for culture at UNESCO will be her special guest for Reggae Month in February.
Minister Grange made the announcement of Ernesto Ottone Ramirez’s visit at the launch of Reggae Month 2019 on Sunday. Mr Ottone Ramirez, the former Culture Minister of Chile, is the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture.
Minister Grange said Reggae Month 2019 will be special.
“This Reggae Month is the grand celebration party for the recent inscription of the Reggae Music of Jamaica to the UNESCO list of Intangible treasures for the whole of humanity,” said Minister Grange who added Reggae Month will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of Reggae Music.
The Minister described the recent inscription of the Reggae Music of Jamaica to the UNESCO list as a continuation of efforts to preserve Jamaica’s music.
Minister Grange said:
“The act of preserving Reggae was exactly the point when we instituted Reggae Month in 2008. That first official Reggae Month was the culmination of efforts of the many stakeholders in our music to formally recognise the power and reach of Jamaican music.
“And I am delighted to have worked with the many stakeholders again during the last two years to bring a case to UNESCO to safeguard and recognise Reggae as a unique creation of the Jamaican people.”
Reggae Month 2019 will begin with a Street Party on Orange Street on February 1, 2019. Other activities include tributes to Bob Marley and Dennis Brown; a month-long exhibition on Reggae Music at the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica; the Global Reggae Conference at the University of the West Indies, Mona; a series of weekly Reggae Films in the Park at Emancipation Park; the JARIA Honour Awards and the Reggae Gold Reception and Awards Ceremony at which 50 icons will be honoured for their contribution to the Reggae Music of Jamaica.
Reggae Month is being organised jointly by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Ministry of Tourism with support of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association; the Jamaica Federation of Musicians and Affiliates Union among other stakeholders.
“It is my pleasure — along with my colleague Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Edmund Bartlett — to invite the peoples of the world to join us in Jamaica during the month of February for a celebration of Reggae like no other,” said Minister Grange.
Kingston 28 December 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says next January’s staging of Rebel Salute will be a celebration of “the role played historically by Reggae music in the liberation of oppressed people across the world.”
Minister Grange made the comment on Thursday (27 December) at the launch of the 2019 edition of Rebel Salute, which will be one of the first major Reggae music festivals in Jamaica since Reggae music was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity at the end of November.
The Minister said “we had to fight” for this inscription, which is something that we must “never take for granted.”
Rebel Salute 2019, which will receive financial support from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is one of Jamaica’s premier entertainment events.
According to Minister Grange:
“Among the signature features of Rebel Salute is its unabashed presentation of our Jamaican and African heritage. Tony Rebel and Rebel Salute understand the importance of presenting to our people the dignity and integrity of our African ancestry as represented by the Rastafari culture and ideology. It is about inspiring our people to stand proud in promoting our heritage.”
Rebel Salute will be held on January 18 and 19, 2019 at Plantation Cove in St Ann.
Kingston, December 5, 2018 – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and Chairman of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that the Youth Advisory Committee of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO has received a grant for US$15,000.
Minister Grange made the announcement at a ceremony during which the Universal Service Fund (USF) handed over laptops and tablets to the Committee on Wednesday at the Ministry’s Trafalgar Road offices.
The grant was given under UNESCO’s Participation Programme.
The Participation Programme functions as a vital complement to UNESCO’s regular activities by analysing, evaluating and facilitating the implementation of national, sub-regional, inter-regional and regional projects submitted by Member States and NGOs directly related to the activities of the organisation.
“Youth is one of the priority areas of the Participation Programme and this grant will equip the Youth Advisory Committee and enhance the work of its programmes,”
Minister Grange said.
In commenting on the donation from the Universal Service Fund, Minister Grange said that it follows representation at all levels in support of the work of the Youth Advisory Committee Secretariat.
“The Secretariat is moving to implement projects towards empowering youth at risk, including young boys between the ages of 5 and 18 who struggle academically; and teenage mothers who need to be steered towards the programmes of the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation,” Minister Grange added.
The Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation was recognised by UNESCO for helping adolescent mothers to continue their education and was awarded US$50,000 to help further its work.
Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius November 29, 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says the admission of Reggae music to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, is a tribute to the Jamaican people and to all those who have been exponents of the different genres that have emerged from the roots of Reggae.
Minister’s comment followed news of the inscription of Reggae at the 13th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Republic of Mauritius on Thursday.
However, the Minister stressed that “a special tribute must be made to the Rastafari community which has been recognised globally as the chief practitioners who have contributed, in a major way, to the evolution of Reggae. They carried the messages of peace, hope, love and one-ness that have made Reggae loved and ‘RASpected’ world-wide.”
Minister Grange said:
“As a genre, Reggae music reflects the influences of Kumina chants and songs, Revival tambourines and hymns, and the drumming and chanting of Rastafarians. The heavy bassline, which is associated with the strains of Reggae, have strong Rastafarian influences. Indeed, artistes such as Count Ossie and the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, who emerged on Jamaica’s music scene in the mid to late 1950’s are to be acknowledged and recognised for their contribution to Reggae’s unique sound and how it has evolved.
While in the beginning Reggae was the voice of the marginalised, the music is now played and embraced by a wide cross-section of genders, ethnic and religious groups, and the recognition of its contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamism of the musical form.
The power of Reggae could clearly be seen when Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ turned the entire meeting of UNESCO’s Inter Governmental Committee into a song-and-dance party. The basic social functions of the music – as a vehicle for social commentary, a cathartic practice — have not changed, and the music continues to act as a voice for all.
Jamaica can be truly proud that it has given to the world many Reggae icons including Robert Nesta Marley, created a musical genre that has been inscribed to UNESCO’s Representative List of Humanity and which has penetrated all corners of the world and a new religion in the form of Rastafari.”
Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius November 26, 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has arrived in the Republic of Mauritius for the 13th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which began today (Monday, 26 November).
The Committee will consider, among other things, Jamaica's submission for the inscription of Reggae music on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
According to Minister Grange, “Reggae is uniquely Jamaican. It is a music that we have created that has penetrated all corners of the world. It is important that we safeguard and protect Reggae music.”
Jamaica’s nomination is one of 40 to be decided on by the Committee which ensures the implementation to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003).
The Convention promotes the safeguarding of traditions and living expressions handed down from generation to generation, including oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.
Minister Grange, who is first Jamaican Minister to be elected to the Committee, says she’s “happy to make the case to UNESCO for the inscription of Jamaica’s Reggae Music as our intangible cultural heritage.”
Minister Grange said the intention is to ensure that “Reggae music is recognised worldwide as the creative output of the Jamaican people.”
The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity now has 399 elements including Maroon Heritage of Moore Town which was inscribed in 2008.
The Committee will end its deliberations on Saturday, 1 December 2018.
Paris, 11 October 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has accepted the prestigious UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education which has been awarded to the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation.
The prize is given annually to individuals, institutions non-governmental organisations and other entities engaged in activities in girls’ and women’s education and is sponsored by the People’s Republic of China.
The Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation was recognised for helping adolescent mothers to continue their education and awarded US$50,000 to help further its work. This year’s other awardee, the Misr El-Kheir Foundation, supports girls' education in some of the poorest villages of Egypt.
Accepting the prize at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France today — on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child — Minister Grange said the award was in recognition of “the value of the Foundation’s work in re-writing the script of the lives of adolescent mothers.”
The Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation — an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport — was established 40 years ago to devise programmes and activities to address the needs of adolescent mothers, including equipping them to take care of their children and helping them to complete their education at its centres across the country and through re-integration into the formal school system, thereby increasing their job prospects.
Minister Grange noted that prior to the establishment of the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, pregnancy was like a death sentence for the adolescent girl: her health was endangered; her education would stop; her hopes and dreams would vanish; and she faced a life of poverty and dependence.
During the last 40 years, the Women’s Centre has served 46-thousand adolescent mothers — most of whom never had a second child during their adolescent years.
This year’s International Day of the Girl Child was observed under the theme “With Her: A Skilled GirlForce” which called attention to the need to develop the skills of girls to enter the workforce on equal terms.
Minister Grange called on everyone to “commit to doing all in our power to create a world that is fit for a girl. A world that values her. A world that protects her. A world that shows her possibilities and helps her to be all that she can and wants to be.”
Kingston, 10 October 2018 – Staff members and community volunteers at Abeng Radio 88.7 FM in Accompong, St Elizabeth are to benefit from a three-day training workshop from October 11-13. The workshop, sponsored by UNESCO and the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO — an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport — is being held under the theme: 'Building a Sustainable Community Radio Station'.
Over the three days, the participants will be exposed to issues pertinent to the management and operations of community radio, in addition to getting practical, hands-on tools and techniques in areas such as news writing, programme production and editing, on-air presentation, equipment maintenance and advertising and sales, among others.
Programme Manager at the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, Dr Maria Smith, said: "participants will also have an opportunity for knowledge sharing with representatives from other UNESCO-supported community stations such as Roots and Jet FM being in attendance to share best practices."
The workshop will be conducted by a local team of media specialists and communication practitioners including Lincoln Robinson, Rosamond Brown, Wayne Donaldson, Elizabeth Gordon, Dahlia Harris and Owen Brown. The workshop is part of the thrust to support cultural communities as mandated by the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange.
Abeng Radio 88.7 FM was established with funding support from UNESCO and went on air two years ago. It was set up specifically to serve the interests and development needs of the Accompong Maroons and seeks through its programming to promote the rich indigenous culture, history and heritage of the Trelawny Town Maroons, the people of Accompong and adjoining communities.