Culture Clubs to Merge

(JIS) – Culture Clubs to Merge: Culture clubs operating out of three agencies under the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport are expected to be merged in a bid to strengthen the movement.

These include the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) culture clubs, Jamaica National Heritage Trust heritage clubs and the Jamaica National Council – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (JNC-UNESCO) clubs.

Consultations on the pending merger are now being held to sensitise stakeholders as well as garner feedback from them.

The first in the series was held at the Shortwood Teachers’ College in St. Andrew today (November 9).

Speaking at the event, Acting Executive Director, JCDC, Orville Hill, said these programmes will be “brought under one umbrella to benefit from the synergies and make it bigger and better”.

He noted that culture clubs are established through schools, youth community groups and other community organisations across the island as a means of preserving the nation’s culture and heritage.

Culture clubs also provide the medium through which the development of the arts can be sustained and a channel through which the creative talents and skills of Jamaicans can be identified, developed and promoted.

Mr. Hill further informed that the sensitisation sessions on the merger are being held as part of the JCDC’s annual regional culture club consultation series, noting that other sessions are to be staged in the other regions during November and December.

This first session was hosted by the JCDC’s Eastern Region, which comprises St. Thomas, Kingston and St. Andrew, and St. Catherine.

The consultations will continue next week Friday (November 17) in the Central Region at Munro College, St. Elizabeth. The next will be held in the Western Region at the St. John’s Methodist Church in St. James on November 24. The final, the Northern Region, will be held on December 1 at the St. Mary’s Anglican Church Hall in Port Maria.

In the meantime, guest speaker, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Youth Organisation for Upliftment, Jamaica, Aubrey Stewart, welcomed the merger, noting that it will serve to enhance the overall mandate of the clubs.

Mr. Stewart, who is also a Jamaica House Fellow, encouraged club leaders not to become complacent, but strive to enhance the management of the clubs and to devise strategies to keep persons interested in the movement.

Regional culture club consultations are held once per year under the chairmanship of the JCDC’s Regional Manager. There are more than 250 registered clubs islandwide.

This year’s culture club consultations are being held under the theme ‘Engineering a Culture of Unity and Love’.

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