JIS: The creative industry is being touted as a critical and viable sector for the promotion of economic growth and development, through entrepreneurship.

Lecturer in the School of Drama at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Marvin George, who is also an experienced Caribbean playwright, actor and director, said entrepreneurship is a significant aspect of how professional artists operate in the field.

“Of all the disciplines to which we introduce our children, the one discipline that is surely entrepreneurial is working in the creative arts,” he said.

Mr. George, addressing a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, on June 20, said it is, therefore, important that artists pursue training to develop adequate entrepreneurial skills to achieve success.

He said art management programmes and other courses geared at promoting effective business skills are included in all faculties at the college – School of Drama, School of Dance, School of Visual Arts and the School of Music.

“This means that every single person that we send out into the world has to learn, first and foremost, how to be entrepreneurial. Every single School is asking the artist what he would like to do, how it fits into the context in which he is operating, and by doing what his passion demands, how will that feed him for the rest of his life,” Mr. George said.

“In discussions on development, we talk about entrepreneurship as a critical driver. This means that we have to… work in a way that entrepreneurship becomes part and parcel of what we do,” he added.

Director of Studies at the School of Arts Management and Humanities, Dr. Anthea Octave, said this department aims specifically to develop entrepreneurial skills, and teach students how to manage their own artistic careers and that of others.

“Through the various courses, the idea is to begin to think about what your skill sets are and what are the needs of your community, or region, that those skill sets could meet. (You need to figure out) what are the gaps that exist that might help you to form a career,” she said.

Dr. Octave further noted that students are also engaged in practical ways in the course offerings, specifically through a student-run company at the institution, One Creative Yaad – that gives persons the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts to actual projects.

The courses, she said, help students to start forging careers, with some becoming agents and managers, and others gaining employment as production managers, or in public relations and branding, while still enrolled at the Edna Manley College.

Meanwhile, College Orator, Dr. Amina Blackwood-Meeks, is urging the Jamaican society to engage in a conversation that seeks to promote the cultural and creative industries as a viable career and entrepreneurial option.

She noted that investment in the sector is critical to reaping the benefits from the abundance of cultural and creative assets available in the country and region.

 

“It’s a conversation, really, about emancipating yourself from mental slavery. Society needs to be involved in this conversation about using the arts to dismantle colonialism,” she said.

 

CAPTION: Lecturer in the School of Drama, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Marvin George, addresses Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on Tuesday, June 20.