The Kingston Creative team, with the help of their first 50 donors, continue to improve the landscape of communities in downtown Kingston through mural pavements and community inclusion.
Samantha Harvey, community coordinator with the Kingston Creative team, shared details on the work being done by the non-profit organisation within the downtown Kingston area. She was speaking at Kingston Creative’s sixth-anniversary press conference on Tuesday (February 28).
“Sometimes when programmes like these come along, people from downtown Kingston, don’t always benefit. Community inclusion is very critical to the success of Kingston Creative’s vision and the organisation is walking the talk these days,” she explained.
Harvey shared that Kingston Creative created murals in communities within the downtown Kingston area such as Tivoli Gardens, Rae Town, Hannah Town, Almond Town, Trench Town and Beat Street. “We employ community artists in the mural projects as well as poets, musicians, and dancers in the ArtWalk events. So, when we are working in the communities, we employ persons from those communities as there is so much talent within the spaces that we work,” she added.
Tackling crime through community inclusion
Harvey mentioned collaborative efforts between Kingston Creative and Crime Stop Jamaica where the entities work with community members to tackle the issues of safety and peace.
“We have moved beyond beautification to develop murals with a message through a new partnership with Crime Stop,” she said. The partnership also includes the organisation, Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).
“We will develop murals in 12 downtown Kingston communities. The first, now completed, is in Greater Brown’s Town, also known as Dunkirk. The artwork was done by and done by the artist, Anthony ‘Taoszen’ Smith,” she continued.
The series of murals form part of a larger project by Crime Stop Jamaica focused on citizen engagement in the Central and Eastern Police divisions.
In an Instagram post, the artist responsible for the first mural, Anthony ‘Taoszen’ Smith said: “my mural contributes to a meaningful and important project for ridding our communities of crime and violence. Let us continue to do what we can to make our world a better place.” In a separate post on Instagram, Crime Stop Jamaica said, “we thank the CFLI and Kingston Creative for bringing further beauty to this community and making this dream a reality.”
Harvey stated that Kingston Creative signed an MOU with PIOJ to do a mapping of downtown Kingston of all the creative people and the cultural faces so that the creative people may be included in their programmes.
“Creatives from downtown can benefit if we know who they are,” she said. “We conduct training sessions for the creative entrepreneurs in these communities in downtown Kingston each month, and we provide access for community creatives to improve and register their business at no charge,” Harvey added.
“This work means a lot to the creatives in the communities and we are grateful for the support from the first 50 that allow us to reach these young creatives and have an impact. We want to not only change the look of their community but also improve employment perspectives and change their lives,” she said.
Among the first 50 is Red Stripe Flavours whose brand manager, Jodi-Ann Campbell, said: “Red Stripe Flavours represents vibrancy and creativity. As such, becoming one of Kingston Creative’s first 50 donors was the perfect fit. We’re proud to have supported the non-profit over the past six years. The initiatives have been innovative and game-changing for the development of Jamaica’s creative sector. The impact has been significant and we’re looking forward to what’s coming.”
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