16 Jan 2019

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.

16 Jan 2019

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.”

 

END

16 Jan 2019

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.  

END

16 Jan 2019

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.”

-END-

16 Jan 2019

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.

16 Jan 2019

Kingston, 5 October 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is now in Paris, France attending the 205th session of the UNESCO Executive Board.

Minister Grange was elected earlier this year to the powerful Executive Board which focuses on the development of policies and programmes to direct UNESCO’s activities.  This meeting of the Executive Board will consider, among other things: the budgetary situation of UNESCO, the strategic transformation of the organisation as well as the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture.

Minister Grange is also chairing meetings of the influential Conventions and Recommendations Committee — one of the permanent committees of the Executive Board.  The Conventions and Recommendations Committee considers all questions entrusted to the Executive Board concerning the implementation of UNESCO’s standard-setting instruments, as well as examines communications relating to cases and questions concerning the exercise of human rights in UNESCO’s fields of competence.

 

-END-

16 Jan 2019

KINGSTON, Feb. 21 (JIS):

The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is working on building a framework for Kingston to fully operate as a musical economic zone.

This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, during a reggae month reception on the lawns of Jamaica House on February 20.

“Having received the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) designation, we must now translate that into greater tangibles for our people,” she said.

Kingston was one of 47 new locales added to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in December 2015. 

Ms. Grange argued that reggae is the strongest component of brand Jamaica. “Reggae is hot commodity and the world has embraced it, but we are proud to declare that we still own it... (and) the celebration of Reggae Month is a symbolic mark of respect for the eight genres we have given to the world,” she noted.

Ms. Grange said that the importance of reggae music to Jamaica should never be undervalued, adding that “it is the lifeblood”.

“When we look at the role that reggae music has played… the anthropological role in the development of Jamaica as a nation, its role in the transformation of the lives of many young people, its role in the struggle for human rights and freedoms in places like Zimbabwe and South Africa, we must hail and respect our music and the sounds of Jamaica,” she said.

In the meantime, she informed that plans are under way to build a world-class concert hall in Kingston.  

“We want to see more global superstars coming back to Jamaica to perform. We want to see a thriving entertainment industry where all the stakeholders can have a livelihood and the production line can continue well beyond our time,” she said.

The reception, which was hosted by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is expected to become a yearly event on the calendar of activities for Reggae Month in February.

The function, which featured musical tributes and dance performances, was attended by members of the musical fraternity, including artistes, producers and promoters, members of the Government and the wider society.

 

-END-

16 Jan 2019

The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has identified Reggae music as Jamaica’s most valuable yet undervalued export.

16 Jan 2019

Kingston, November 14, 2017 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that Jamaica has been elected to Unesco's Inter-governmental Council for the Information for All Programme for the period 2017-2021.

16 Jan 2019

Jamaica has been elected to the Executive Board of Unesco following a successful campaign led by the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange.

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MCGES

We place people at the heart of everything we do.

We believe that culture is the great equaliser and transformer that makes ordinary men and women great.

We believe that gender equality is essential in a modern society.

We believe that an entertained person is a happy person and happy persons make happy societies.

We believe that physical activity enhances lives and sport is the medicine that heals and corrects.

Olivia Grange

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