Kingston Creative launches travel programme for creatives
Kenardo Ellis (musician), Anthony Smith (visual artist), and Matthew McCarthy (visual artist) will be participating in the UNESCO Creative Cities Forum in Querétaro, Mexico, the Kaya Kaya Festival in Curaçao, and the Festi Graffiti Festival in Haiti, respectively. (Photo: Contributed)

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Kingston Creative, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank Lab (IDB Lab) and the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), has introduced a Travel Grant Programme aimed at facilitating visits for six creative entrepreneurs to overseas markets between August 2022 and December 2023. Three Jamaican creatives are expected to participate in the inaugural travel programme.

According to a release, the artists set to participate in this year’s initiative are Kenardo Ellis (musician), Anthony Smith (visual artist), and Matthew McCarthy (visual artist). They will be participating in the UNESCO Creative Cities Forum in Querétaro, Mexico, the Kaya Kaya Festival in Curaçao, and the Festi Graffiti Festival in Haiti, respectively.

“Travel is essential for Caribbean artists,” said Andrea Dempster Chung, Executive Director of Kingston Creative. “Not only does it give inspiration and foster collaboration, it allows artists to reach new customers. We have a relatively small market in Jamaica for creative services and it is important that our artists have the opportunity to showcase their talent, export their artwork and develop strong business connections in other regions of the world,” she added.

“This is a very exciting programme and a big part of what we are doing is giving creatives access to income-earning opportunities they would not usually get,” Dempster Chung said.

Ellis, reggae musician and one of this year’s local participants said the initiative is a “great time opportunity for creatives looking to expand their reach.”

“This integration will bring forth more diverse opportunities to grow our creative culture and foster collective partnership among creatives from various parts of the world. I am more than grateful and honoured to be a part of this initiative,” he added.

Fellow participant, McCarthy shared similar sentiments.

“The travel grant makes perfect sense for an emerging creative scene like Jamaica. Kingston Creative understood that people want to connect and there are many opportunities to do so if things are coordinated well. I’m really grateful for that aspect. The grant helps to make these connections more seamless,” he said.

“I am humbled to be part of Kingston Creative’s first travel grant,” Smith added.”It’s an awesome thing to see what a collaboration of aligned values and interests can do for the creative economy at the national level. Great things are in store.”

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