The creative community has received a breakthrough following on the forging of a three-year technical agreement between Kingston Creative Limited and IDB Lab, the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank.
The collaboration, which will fast track social and economic transformation through the merger of creativity, culture and technology will support 1,500 entrepreneurs and creative enterprises, notably 300 creative entrepreneurs based in Downtown Kingston. Additionally, 60 creative businesses will benefit from the integration of new technologies in their business models and 25 entrepreneurs will be connected to new international markets and opportunities.
Therese Turner-Jones, IDB’s General Manager for the Caribbean Country Group and Country Representative for Jamaica, noted that the creative community has suffered immensely since the onset of COVID-19. “We are very happy to provide support to this industry especially as this partnership will afford creative entrepreneurs a vista for valuable global connections, greater visibility for their work and new opportunities for learning, incubation, and acceleration of their efforts.” The technical cooperation agreement is for USD$1,295,000 with IDB contributing USD$ 595,000 and Kingston Creative USD$700,000.
The programme will involve improving the digital and business skills of creatives, creating online platforms, market access tools and strengthening the creative ecosystem. It will be supported by entities such as the Kingston & St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) an agency of the Ministry of Tourism.
Andrea Dempster-Chung, Executive Director of Kingston Creative, said that she was excited about the benefits that will accrue to creatives that drive the $84 billion creative economy. Noting that 2021 was designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, she said “the partnership will position Jamaican creatives to recover and re-emerge stronger post-COVID. IDB Lab will also connect creatives with regional and global partners through a host of networking capacity building opportunities. Our new coworking space, the Kingston Creative Hub, will also provide creatives physical access to space; hot-desks, meeting rooms, offices, and podcasting, dance and digital studios,”
“We are also excited about continuing our work on the inclusive and balanced development of the new Downtown Kingston Art District and now connecting Port Royal by linking community creatives into the tourism value chain and providing them with digital platforms and skills to improve their market access,” Dempster-Chung added.
Terry-Ann Segree, IDB Lab Private Finance Senior Specialist, also explained that there is an increasing trend globally to mix the traditional artistic elements of contemporary art and culture, music, fashion, literature, theatre, dance, and film with animation, augmented and virtual reality, 3D printing, science, gaming and software. “We will focus on fostering collaborations between artists and developers, designers and scientists, to add economic and social value to cultural and creative assets while creating a transmedia storytelling focus on Jamaican creators to give them visibility locally and internationally.”