Kingston, 13 June 2021 - The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has said that in spite of the negative impact of the covid-19 pandemic, which caused the closure of the Institute of Jamaica, it has allowed the Institute time to assess, re-tool, re-engineer and build back better and stronger to serve its clients at home and in the Diaspora and the wider international cultural community.
Minister Grange’s comment came as she delivered her policy directives to the Council of the Institute of Jamaica at its Strategic Retreat on June 12, 2021.
In recommending the way forward, the Minister suggested that, “The Institute must increase its digital footprint to more effectively reach and service its diverse clientele.
“Our presentations, research, exhibitions, lectures and, yes, even the Musgrave Awards will now have to include a live-stream component. Our library catalogues and databases will also have to be made accessible on-line, while observing copyright and other existing guidelines.”
The Minister reminded that the recent staging of Reggae Month, and the Festival of Arts competition last year were all done virtually.
“Indeed, my re-appointment of Jamaican-Canadian Judge Dr. Pamela Appelt to the Council is to deal with matters relating to the Diaspora. Similarly, the appointment of Chairman Jimmy Moss-Solomon is to increase the level of interaction of the IOJ with the Private Sector.”
Minister Grange encouraged the Council and Management team of the Institute to re-enforce the organisation’s participation in national development.
“The Junior Centres, for instance, which cater to children from 6 to 16 years of age can provide valuable information on how the Arts can be a source of inspiration to our youth, and provide meaningful alternatives to crime and violence. We should be informing state agencies responsible for safeguarding and training our children, particularly those who are vulnerable.”
The Council is the governing body of the IOJ which was founded in 1879 and comprises the Natural History Museum Jamaica, the National Gallery of Jamaica, the National Museum Jamaica, the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank, Liberty Hall: The Legacy of Marcus Garvey and the Programmes Coordination Division which oversees the Junior Centres and the Simon Bolivar Institute.
The Chairman of the Council is supported by the Honourable Marigold Harding, and Bishop the Honourable Herro Blair, who are Deputy Chairpersons. It is a 24-member Council.