Spoken word takes over ‘Park’
KINGSTON, Jamaica: THE east lawns of Devon House in St Andrew was the venue for the second staging of 'Arts in the Park' on Sunday.
The event saw patrons treated to the diversity of artistic expressions of 15 poets and spoken word performers.
"The intention was to feature other types of entertainment as we are not just the Ministry of Music. This is the first time spoken word and poetry are being featured by the Government and we are pleased that the event was successful," said Damion Crawford, state minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment.
"Usually when it's entertainment in Jamaica, it is just music; for the first time it is the arts, so it really is 'Arts in the Park'. We are striving to host festivals that facilitate intermediaries so hopefully some of the artistes will be booked for international productions," he continued.
Dr Wykeham McNeill, minister of tourism and entertainment, said "the talent on display was simply amazing".
"This year's focus was on the spoken word because we don't showcase much of this in Jamaica. So this staging of 'Arts in the Park' provided a very good platform to showcase such talent and is part of our ongoing effort to unearth all the elements of our unique culture. This is all part and parcel of what Jamaica has to offer as a destination," he said.
Performers included Randy McLaren, Juleus Ghunta, Mel Cooke, Yashika Graham, Kai Falconer, Tribe Sankofa, and A-dZiko Simba.
Musical performances came from Infinite, Skygrass, Emily Ruth and Mortimer.
In addition to performances, patrons were able to view and buy paintings, ceramics, wood and leather craft, and other forms of art in the local artisans village, which included displays from SN Kraft, Everard Powell, Donovan Fairweather, Denesha Wright and community-based organisations such as the Trench Town artist group, and Mustard Seed Communities.
'Arts in the Park' is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment and seeks to activate parks and open spaces with greater activities for the public to enjoy, and increase the quality of entertainment offerings across the island. It is a collaborative effort between the Ministry, the Entertainment Advisory Board, the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and several stakeholders from the creative industries/ entertainment industry.