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Business as usual at 'Edna' after fire

Observer writer

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

COLEEN Douglas, director of marketing at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) in St Andrew, says regular operations continue despite a fire at the institution last Friday.

“Disruptions cannot be expected because we are doing mixed modes of content delivery, in keeping with the COVID-19 protocols. So, some students have face-to-face classes while others are online. The space was used by final-year students to work on their final project and by painting students. It wasn't in use everyday, so this will not affect operations,” she told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Sections of the Hope Brooks Painting Studio on the campus were damaged in the Friday morning blaze. No one was injured.

Douglas said there is no word yet on the cost of damages.

“The fire department still has an ongoing investigation so we're not yet able to provide a figure or say what caused it,” she added.

The marketing director said once the Jamaica Fire Brigade's (JFB) assessment is complete, discussions about repairs will be had.

Founded in 1950 by renowned artist, the late Edna Manley, the college was originally named the Jamaica School of Art.

It was later expanded to incorporate the School of Music, which was founded in 1962 by musician Vera Moody.

The institution grew after incorporating the Jamaica National School of Drama, founded by members of the Little Theatre Movement in the early 1970s; and the Jamaica School of Dance, which was founded by the National Dance Theatre Company with key contributions from foundation members Sheila Barnett, Barbara Requa and Bert Rose.

The group of schools was eventually renamed the Cultural Training Centre in 1976 and, thereafter, the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in 1995.

The institution has been preserving Jamaican and Caribbean culture for more than six decades by offering degree programmes in visual performance, arts management and humanities, and continuing education.