Kingston Creative is forging ahead with its initiatives to boost cultural and artistic entrepreneurship in Jamaica and the Caribbean. Why do I think this is important? Because there is tremendous “untapped potential,” to use a well-worn phrase, in our creative community. I interviewed one brilliant young artist, Richard Nattoo, at the beginning of this year. Since the pandemic began, the creative energy has been toned down to some extent. Now, more than ever, it is time to support and empower, so that our creative industry can move forward – together. Team work, empathy and a positive attitude are all essential!
Here are a couple of updates:
436 Caribbean Creatives Vie For CATAPULT Arts Grant
On January 21, the application window for the US$150,000 CATAPULT Arts Grant closed, seeing a total of 436 creatives from 23 Caribbean countries applying for funding.
The grant, now in its second year, is a joint initiative of Kingston Creative, the American Friends of Jamaica and the Open Society Foundations. It seeks to support 300 Caribbean creatives through COVID-19 relief grants worth $500 USD, intended to mitigate the impact of lockdown on their livelihoods.
The applicants will go through a rigorous evaluation process, led by a panel of independent jurors from the region to select the best applicants.
The jurors are:
A unique feature of this grant is that all applicants will be added to the Caribbean Creative Network, an open artist directory that the public can access to find, hire and easily partner with Caribbean creatives for international and local projects.
“We are really excited about the judging process as we are confident that this panel of talented professionals will pick the best Caribbean creatives for the grant,” says Khadijah Chang, Kingston Creative Project Manager, “The database will undoubtedly create more access to markets and employment, so we are really looking forward to seeing the impact that CATAPULT will have for the creative community across the region.”
And there’s more. Kingston Creative’s Go Global Accelerator Programme under the CreaTech Initiative funded by the Inter-American Development Bank’s IDB Lab and the Development Bank of Jamaica has selected ten creative entrepreneurs, who will receive training to help improve their business knowledge and skills, technology skills, and their ability to tap into a global market. They are:
Teika Samuda, principal consultant at the Being Jamaican Tour Company. Being Jamaican offers authentic Jamaican experiences and curates packages that feature the best of Jamaica; highlighting its people, culture, music and natural beauty.
Dainty Wilson, Managing Director of YAADBridge Entertainment, a film, television and audio production Company with a focus on creative production, audio-visual entertainment and talent management in the Caribbean.
Sanjay Ramadan is one of the familiar faces from the TVJ programme Intense, but in our Go Global Accelerator programme, he is the CEO of BELLEH23, a company that provides creative lodgings for International travelers with a core demographic of Dancehall Dancers internationally.
Jherane Patmore is the founder of Rebel Women Lit, a literary community based in Jamaica, with members worldwide, interested in using literature as a source of self-care. RWL has paid membership, an e-commerce bookstore, a podcast, and an active newsletter.
Adam Cummings is the CEO of Apeiron Digital Pro Ltd, a creative digital media company that creates compelling visual content through photography, videography, digital cinematography and graphic design. They combine creative storytelling techniques with high quality visuals to move audiences and supply clients with what they need for their consumers.
Twain Richardson is the Colourist/ Finishing Editor at Frame of Reference Ltd (FoR), the leading post production studio in Jamaica. FoR is renowned for delivering exceptional video editing, colour grading, vfx, and motion graphics services to their clients and has developed an identity that provides reliability, efficiency and quality in all our services.
Kaiel Eytle is the CEO of Watooka Films Ltd, a company focused on developing original content for the screen. Taking IP from source material right through both creative and business development stages to pair it with producers and distributors worldwide.
Monique Kennedy is the CEO of Hold My Brand (HMB), a company that delivers on-demand branding services to start-ups and small businesses. Their clients (entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Canada) gain access to the expertise and support of a full branding team of qualified designers from Jamaica and the Caribbean, for the cost of hiring one freelancer in North America and 60% less than hiring a traditional agency.
If Eileen Dunkley-Shim seems familiar to you, that’s because in addition of being a part of our Accelerator, she was the second place winner in KC’s Best Pitch Forward Competition last year! Eileen’s Netty’s Farm brand sells kombucha and strives to be Jamaica’s number 1 kombucha brand. Netty’s Farm kombucha now retails in 4 locations in Kingston and 1 cafe in Montego Bay.
Alison Hinds is the brain behind AliCraftsJa, an art education operation that usually hosts Paint N Sip events. However they do occasional sales from selling artwork such as quote boards, paintings and pop-up cards.
Phew! Well done, Kingston Creative and a huge shoutout to all the creatives out there, working, creating and believing!