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Kingston, Jamaica: May 7, 2015 – A vibrant showcase of Jamaican dance, ranging from traditional folk forms to contemporary dancehall, will be on display when the fourth staging of ‘Arts in the Park’ gets underway at 3:00 p.m., on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at Hope Botanical Gardens in Kingston.
The ‘Arts in the Park’- Dance Edition is being hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment in association with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) and the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. It forms part of an ongoing effort by the Ministry to develop the local entertainment industry and give artistes international exposure.
The event will be free to the public and will feature individuals and dance companies. In addition to a great afternoon of dance, the family event will also include exhibits by local manufacturers and a food court.
One of the main objectives of ‘Arts in the Park’ is to provide business opportunities for local creative practitioners to network with international booking agents and talent scouts. To this end noted international intermediaries have been invited to network with the dancers, including Ms. Virginie Mecene, Artistic Director, Graham 2 and Director Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance; Mr. Troy Powell, Artistic Director, Ailey II; Ms. Fatima Wilson, Head of Commercial & Dance, Bloc NYC; Dr. Barry Burch of Dance Africa and Tanisha Scott, MTV nominated Choreographer for Beyonce, Rihanna and Sean Paul.
A contingent of Entertainment Managers from local hotels will also be in attendance in an effort to expose them to the wealth of dance talent available to perform on the hotel circuit as well as to strengthen the linkages between Jamaica’s entertainment and hospitality sectors.
“We are very pleased to be staging a dance edition of ‘Arts in the Park’. Jamaica has a very strong history of dance, which has been influenced by our rich history and diverse melting pot of cultures. I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the celebration of every genre of local dance including, Modern, Hip-Hop, Dancehall and Folk,” said State Minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, the Hon. Damion Crawford.
Chairman of the Entertainment Advisory Board (EAB), Kingsley Cooper, said, “Arts in the Park has had three successful stagings so far and we are positive that this event will be equally successful. We cannot over-emphasize the value of the business networking opportunities facilitated by this initiative. In addition to Sunday’s event we will be hosting a special networking session on Friday, May 15, which will bring local dancers, international booking agents, talent scouts and international media representatives together in a strategic way.”
The ‘Arts in the Park’ initiative was conceived by the EAB to increase the quality of local entertainment offerings, while providing international booking agents and talent scouts opportunities to sign local acts and experience the “best of Jamaica”. It is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and several stakeholders from the entertainment sector and creative industries.