“Keep your eyes on the Gold” is the message being sent by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) to its tens of thousands of participants across the nation, in an effort to redirect their anxiety toward their creative passions, amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This message follows on the heels of the Prime Minister’s announcement of a further extension of national social distancing practices as the country maintains its focus on minimizing the spread of the Coronavirus.
In keeping with the Government of Jamaica’s mandated guidelines, which took effect on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the JCDC has postponed all events and public gatherings as well as restricted access of its island-wide offices to the public until further notice.
“We know that it is a scary time right now for most Jamaicans and we don’t know when we will be able to return to normalcy, but we are encouraging our participants to continue to hold the faith and keep their eyes on the gold. Just keep practicing so that when we are back on track, you will be ready and raring to go,” said Andrew Clunis, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the JCDC.
He continued, “In the meantime, we at the JCDC are working on developing alternative ways to keep our participants exercising their creativity, while they use this time to review and refine what they would have prepared for our competitions so far.”
“We also encourage all Cultural agents, including teachers and community leaders to reach out to students in particular, so that even while they continue their academic work in a virtual space, they do not lose that critical element of extracurricular activity, which is vital to their overall development and well- being,” Clunis further stated.
The JCDC is Jamaica’s premier cultural institution and has been unearthing, developing, showcasing and preserving the creative talents and cultural heritage of the Jamaican people for over 50 years.
In addition to being charged with organizing all national Civic and celebratory cultural events, the JCDC also coordinates the following competitions: The National Festival of the Performing Arts – which covers the areas of Dance, Drama, Music, Speech and Traditional Folk Forms; the Jamaica Festival Song Competition, the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition, the Jamaica Gospel Song and Children’s Gospel Song competitions, the Jamaica Culinary Arts Competition, the Jamaica Visual Arts Competition, the Jamaica Creative Writing Competition, the World Reggae Dance Championship and the Big Stage Competition.