After numerous attempts at getting the attention of various government organizations to offset costs associated with participating in the Contacting the World (CTW) festival in Manchester, England, Jamaican theatre company, QUILT, has yet to hear any word about their support. But, the group remains hopeful.
Support from them, or anyone, could mean the difference between proudly representing their country this July at the biannual festivalgeared at connecting youth theatre groups across the world in the spirit of creativity surpassing the boundaries of geography and cultureor sitting it out because of financial difficulties.
From 97 performing arts companies worldwide, QUILT was invited to participate in the festival for young theatre makers with an objective of shaping the way participants think about and create theatre. What makes this feat historic is that the company is the only group selected from the Western Hemisphere. This also marks the second time Jamaica will take part in the event, making it a perfect opportunity to showcase brand Jamaica on the world stage.
With an estimated budget of 6 million dollars (JMD) the group has already engaged in fundraising initiatives to raise money to cover their financial obligations for the festival including tag drives and fundraising shows.
The first show, “Release” held in February of this year, was a success and the group plans to make their next fund raising show, to be held on June 1st to be equally or even more successful. On that night, the stage will feature the likes of a few top local acts as well as show exclusive pieces that will only be performed at the festival this July.
Another initiative the group has created is a crowdfunding page at
http://www.gofundme.com/supportjamaicans where persons can visit and make donations
Money garnered from all these initiatives will go towards visa fees, transportation and accommodation costs while in England among other expenses.
The now four year QUILT Performing Arts Company (QPAC) is the brainchild of Rayon McLean, the 2010 recipient of Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Arts and Culture. The awardwinning group of singers, actors, dancers and writers from across the island is on a mission to help breathe new life into Jamaican theater. Using their art to tackle social issues, the group aims to educate, engage and inspire audiences with their style of theatre.