Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport, Olivia Grange, has announced the government’s commitment to establishing a state-of-the-art Reggae Hall of Fame Museum and Performance Arts Centre in Kingston. Speaking through Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Denzil Thorpe, during the opening of the 2022 International Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC) exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica in downtown Kingston, Grange stated that the Ministry was determined to make this vision a reality.
Grange emphasized that the calls for a world-class reggae hall of fame and performance arts centre had been heard, and her Ministry was committed to fulfilling this vision. The IRPC contest, launched in December 2011, is the brainchild of the late graphic designer Michael “Freestyle” Thompson and Greek counterpart Maria Papaefstathiou, with the goal of establishing a museum.
Grange acknowledged that the contest was the co-founders’ first step towards launching the Museum and raising funds for the Alpha Institute (Alpha Boys’ School). Grange stated that the poster contest honours the legacy of the Alpha Boys’ School, which has played a foundational role in the development of Jamaican popular music.
Ms. Grange congratulated the top 100 entrants in the 2022 contest and commended the winner, Greek illustrator Vasilis Grivas, who designed a poster titled “Nanny of the Maroons.” She described Grivas’ depiction as evoking Nanny’s role as a nurturer who sheltered her people. Grange added that Vasilis certainly understands Nanny’s legendary heroism, coming from Greece with its long tradition of epic poetry and drama.
The Minister also praised Maria Papaefstathiou for her tireless work in sustaining the contest over the past seven years. She further stated that the poster contest demonstrated the artists’ love for the Jamaican people, and for that, they give thanks.