Kingston Creative, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank Lab (IDB Lab) and the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is introducing a Travel Grant Programme which will facilitate visits to overseas markets by six creative entrepreneurs between August 2022 – December 2023. This year, three Jamaican creatives will participate in creative fora and festivals in Mexico, Haiti & Curacao respectively.
The artists participating in this year’s Travel Grant programme are Kenardo Ellis (musician), Anthony Smith (visual artist), and Matthew McCarthy (visual artist). They will be participating in the UNESCO Creative Cities Forum in Querétaro, Mexico, the Kaya Kaya Festival in Curaçao, and the Festi Graffiti Festival in Haiti respectively.
“Travel is essential for Caribbean artists,” stated Andrea Dempster Chung, Executive Director of Kingston Creative. “Not only does it give inspiration and foster collaboration, it allows artists to reach new customers. We have a relatively small market in Jamaica for creative services and it is important that our artists have the opportunity to showcase their talent, export their artwork and develop strong business connections in other regions of the world. This is a very exciting programme and a big part of what we are doing is giving creatives access to income-earning opportunities they would not usually get.”
Kenardo ‘Ken’ Ellis, reggae musician and Travel Grant participant said,”This is a great time opportunity for creatives looking to expand their reach. This integration will bring forth more diverse opportunities to grow our creative culture and foster collective partnership among creatives from various parts of the world. I am more than grateful and honoured to be a part of this initiative.”
“The travel grant makes perfect sense for an emerging creative scene like Jamaica,” said Matthew McCarthy, “Kingston Creative understood that people want to connect and there are many opportunities to do so if things are coordinated well. I’m really grateful for that aspect. The grant helps to make these connections more seamless.”
“I am humbled to be part of Kingston Creative’s first travel grant.” Anthony Smith, Travel Grant participant stated, “ It’s an awesome thing to see what a collaboration of aligned values and interests can do for the creative economy at the national level. Great things are in store.”