The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts is poised and ready to train Jamaicans for impending growth in the creative industry.
Leighton Jones, director for the School of Continuing Education and Allied Programmes at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, said the college was ensuring that it is prepared to meet the demands of the creative workforce.
“The creative industry is really the way to go. We are also trying to respond to the needs, and the needs are varied. What we cannot allow ourselves to do is remain traditional when the things are changing. Right now, the schools are revising their programmes to ensure that we fit into the 21st Century and beyond,” Jones said.
He added that the revision of programmes includes flexibility in the training of students with some new offerings generating much interest.
“We do have five schools that offer degrees in any of the arts areas. We have recently included our arts management programmes where we are having a boost in terms of interest coming in from people who are interested in going into managing arts. The School of Continuing Education is where we are offering the short courses for persons who are interested and want to branch out into other areas, then they can take the courses with us,” added Jones.
He noted that individuals from professions outside of the creative field have come to the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and branched out into areas such as ceramic and interior design because of the growth in demand for such products and services.
As the premier arts training institution in the English-speaking Caribbean, the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts has and continues to prepare students for changes in the creative landscape.
“We are poised to help with the training to prepare the youth for the cultural industry. We are ready to train anyone who comes, at any area. What we want people to do is get themselves trained before the [creative] ‘boom’ comes. We are poised and ready and we have the team that is ready to write the programmes for the different requests and needs that arise,” Jones assured.
Creative industries and new digital media is a priority industry area of the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority, where investments will be sought in creative clusters and media parks for the establishment of a platform for digital creation.
The Xanadu Special Economic Zone is a proposed creative/film cluster, and one of the projects that will be on show to investors at the eighth World Free Zones Organization Annual International Conference and Exhibition, to be held from June 13 to 17 in Montego Bay, St James.