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PROJECT KINGSTON

Art in Public Spaces

Project proposal for IED Master in Curatorial Practice 2023

Description and Context

Major banks and government institutions such as the Bank of Jamaica, Jamaica Stock Exchange, National Gallery of Jamaica, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica Conference Centre, etc. are all located in Downtown Kingston. Currently, several “rebuilding”/” revitalization” projects are taking place Downtown, with specific emphasis on the arts community, i.e.

Fleet Street (a community-based project of mural painting around downtown), Kingston Creative Hub (coworking space for artists, entrepreneurs, and people in the creative field).  Walking art tours of the mural paintings has also become an attraction for locals and tourists.

Mediating organisation:
Kingston Creative

With a goal of developing a vibrant, inclusive Art District and a Creative Hub for training, Kingston Creative has developed 63 murals, sculptures, and public art so far. The organization hosts a monthly festival Kingston Creative Artwalk, and an artisanal market called Market Street. The past three years have seen over 29,000 visitors to Downtown to participate in events.

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Description of the Community

Their Needs

There are 17 communities in Downtown Kingston. Our focus is on the Central Downtown community. The estimated population of Central Downtown: 1,033 (52.9% male, 47.1% female).

Just over a third (34.1%) of the population is aged 30 years and younger.

  • 66.7% of residents reported that no public facility exists in their section of the community.

  • 56% of respondents indicated they were employed. Barriers to employment include the stigma attached to a Central Downtown address. (Central Downtown has a poverty prevalence of 15.4%: 1 in 6 households is living below an adult equivalent poverty line applicable to the Kingston Metropolitan Area).

Outreach to the Community

Qualitative Research Method Techniques 

  • Observations: recording what we see, hear, or encounter in detailed field notes.

  • Interviews: personally asking people questions in one-on-one conversations.

  • Focus groups: asking questions and generating discussion meetings with groups within the community, facilitated by the help of a Kingston Creative mediator/representative.

Suggestion box at the Kingston Creative Hub on the outside of the building - anonymous, with pen/paper.

Potential Conflicts 

  • Distrust of foreigners in the community

  • Crime and gang violence

  • Differences in priorities due to poverty

  • Potential vandalism

Goals and Objectives

Create a communal and available art space for the Central Downtown community.

  • Creating a space for artistic expression, for members to create and showcase art that is representative of the community: it can be critical of their experiences, should represent what is actually happening.

  • Making art accessible to everyone through the creation of artistic events and workshops.

  • Encouraging the younger generation to learn new things and talk about their needs through art.

  • Creating a space as a meeting place, that helps to advance social cohesion in the community.

  • Improving the stigmatized impression of the Central Downtown community.

  • Economic independence for community members, with integration into the wider professional Jamaican and international art scene.

Community Centre

The space will serve as an art community center throughout the week.

Community members can come in and use the paints, and designated walls - this way we have a sense of their voice in the space.

Creation of studios: canvases, paints, and other needed materials will be supplied.

Public Program 

Opening Event

Event twice a month in the space

  • Workshops:

  • Making a portfolio

  • Making a website

  • Marketing Professional

  • Art professionals

  • Artist Events:

  • Movie screenings

  • Storytelling events

  • Live mural performance art

  • Poetry

  • Art exhibitions

  • Dance workshops

  • Well-known artists from Kingston and Downtown

  • Live mural from artist/s from downtown

  • Music

  • Food and drinks

Artists 

Kenardo Ellis

Performer, Composer, Songwriter Roots and jazz artist

Anna K Cuffe

Ceramic artist, a reef rescue diver, and an ocean activist.

Tara Brown

Owner of Sky Gallery 

Kianne Patrice Hutchinson

photographer, digital artist, wall art creator, and muralist

Richard Nattoo

Works with Watercolour, pen and ink, and digital art.

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