KINGSTON, Jamaica — State Minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment Damion Crawford has welcomed news that the push to have Kingston designated a Creative City of Music by UNESCO has yielded significant success. This comes on the heels of the official announcement by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, that Kingston was among 10 creative music cities, which were designated this year.
The designation resulted from a strategic partnership between the Tourism Ministry through the Entertainment Advisory Board (EAB), the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) and other stakeholders. The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has provided over $3.4 million to date to support the venture.
The process was initiated by the Ministry’s Entertainment Advisory Board in 2013 and was aimed at ensuring that Kingston becomes a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, which focuses on resuscitating the economic viability of cities through arts, culture and community. The venture then received overwhelming support from the KSAC, which played a pivotal role in facilitating the successful submission of a formal application to have the city designated.
The announcement also follows a recent trip by the Ministry’s Senior Director of Entertainment, Gillian Wilkinson-McDaniel and Kingston’s Town Clerk, Robert Hill, to Japan to lobby for the designation to be granted at the UNESCO World Creative City Forum.
The detailed application was submitted on July 15, 2015 after several consultations spearheaded by the EAB and the KSAC with partners such as the Urban Development Corporation, University of the West Indies, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) and the Planning Institute of Jamaica.
“I am very pleased that the initiative was successful and it is further proof that hard-work and partnerships can have a far-reaching impact. I am convinced that the designation will help to boost our efforts to position Kingston as a cultural city and will also enhance the appeal of Jamaica to travelers with a special interest in culture,” Crawford said.
UNESCO’s Creative Cities programme was started in 2004 as an initiative to unite cities from across the globe through creative industries. It is policy-driven at the municipal and national level. The network is currently formed by 69 members from 32 countries covering seven creative fields — crafts & folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, music and media arts.
Other cities also recognised as creative cities of music include: Tongyeong (Republic of Korea), Varanasi (India), Adelaide (Australia), Idanha-a-Nova (Portugal), Katowice (Poland), Salvador (Brazil), Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Liverpool (United Kingdom) and Medellín (Colombia).