#First50 Impact Investing Initiative

Friday Social

Friday, November 30, 2018

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F&B Downtown, HQ of Kingston Creative, was the venue Tuesday morning for the collective's most ambitious project to date: the First 50 Impact Investing Initiative. A clarion call for major corporates to throw their support behind creating Jamaica's first-ever designated art district and creative hub in downtown Kingston. Seven corporations, notably the Ministry of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport (MCGES); the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC); Red Stripe, part of the Heineken Group of Companies; the Jamaica Observer; the CB Facey Foundation; F&B Downtown; and Paperboy JA have to date heeded the call. The target set is $50 million.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Alando Terrelonge pledged [on behalf of his ministry] a two-tranche donation amounting to $1.25 m by the end of the 2019 financial year. He also used the platform to applaud Kingston Creative co-founder and executive director Andrea Dempster-Chung and spoke to the importance of an art district for tourism and the economy, drawing references from well-established international art districts like Wynwood in Florida and the street art of Marrakech. “In 2015, Kingston was designated a city of music. We now want Kingston to be designated a city of art, a city of culture,” he said to tumultuous applause.

Red Stripe Managing Director Ricardo Nuncio hailed the initiative as a step in the right direction and spoke to his company's long relationship with downtown which commenced in 1927 at Pechon Street with the opening of Surrey Brewery.

Through its murals, community engagement, creative meet-ups, Last Sundays Artwalk and Market Street events, Kingston Creative is engaging Jamaicans around the idea of revamping the image of downtown Kingston and transforming it into an Art District — the epicentre of creativity and artistic development. Dempster-Chung was elated at the huge turnout and the substantive support of major corporates. “We are one step closer to realising the vision. We have seen tremendous support for this initiative over the past year and we look forward to more entities coming on board in 2019... But this is much more than money”, she shared. “It is a legacy conversation. We have a real opportunity here to achieve social transformation and create a new reality for our talented young creatives. Together we can leave downtown a safer more beautiful and vibrant place than we found it.”

Friday Social champions the cause!

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