THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA ELECTED TO UNESCO COMMITTEE
Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, announced Jamaica’s election on June 4, 2021, to be a member of the Intergovernmental Committee for UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. According to Minister Grange, the 2005 Convention encourages the “free and unimpeded movement” of artists via bilateral agreements that include the creation of no-visa regimes. Convention also serves as a legal instrument to encourage trade and movement of cultural goods, especially among developing nations like those in the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. This is the second major UNESCO intergovernmental committee that has seen the election of Jamaica during Grange’s tenure. Jamaica began serving on the Intergovernmental Committee for the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2019.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE $50 MILLION IN SUPPORT OF THOSE IN ENTERTAINMENT, CULTURE, AND CREATIVE INDUSTRIES
The government of Jamaica has increased its special support package designed for those working in the entertainment, culture, and creative industries to $50 million. Previously, the government had promised $40 million to the industries, but due to technical issues in the electronic portal for the disbursement of the funds, sector members were unable to access them. Now, a different platform is being used, and the government is in the final phase of app development, which will allow more members to register and apply for grants. In spite of the technical problems, however, the government still provided support for sector members, including providing grants to over 700 practitioners through the COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) program and special grants from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport. Another $14 million was disbursed to Jamaican creatives through direct sponsorship from the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
ETHIOPIA SEEKS STRONGER TIES WITH CARIBBEAN NATIONS
According to the Ethiopian Ambassador to Cuba, Shibru Mamo Kedida, the African roots shared by people in the Caribbean will facilitate relationships between his country and the island nations as an objective of foreign policy. Africa is the source of a civilization, culture, and ancient traditions that he called “inherent in the hearts of Caribbean people.” Ethiopia is extremely interested in cooperating with countries in the Caribbean in ways that are critical to overall development and essential to their active participation in global and regional forums. The Ethiopian government wants to “expand and deepen the collaboration with the Caribbean brothers,” Kedida said, because of shared development challenges and priorities.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
“ONE LOVE LITTLE CARIBBEAN DAY” TO BE HELD IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
On June 17, 2021, Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Garden, and East Flatbush in Brooklyn, New York, will join to celebrate Caribbean Heritage Month with “One Love Little Caribbean Day.” Business interests, elected officials, and local organizations will gather in the Brooklyn area known as “Little Caribbean” to celebrate with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a tour of local businesses. The first “One Love Little Caribbean Day” is being held four years after the official designation of the intersection of Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Garden and East Flatbush as “Little Caribbean” in 2017. This area in Brooklyn is home to the biggest and most diverse Caribbean American LatinX community outside of the West Indies. It represents 20 percent of the overall population of New York City, according to CaribBeing, the organization the promoted the designation.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
BOB MARLEY MUSEUM TO OPEN CANNABIS RETAIL STORE
A cannabis retail store and dispensary at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, Jamaica, will be the first in the expansion of the Marley Natural retail brand. The plan is to expand to additional locations throughout Jamaica and North America in the future. Bob Marley’s former home in Kingston was converted to a museum in 1987 by his wife Rita Marley and displays the reggae legend’s personal artifacts and more. It features a theater, photo gallery, and record and gift shop. It will soon include the First Marley Natural dispensary. The Marley family and Docklight Brands have the exclusive global rights to Bob Marley cannabinoid products. The store will feature cannabis and CBD products from the Marley Natural line and accessories. It has received conditional approval from the cannabis licensing authority in Jamaica, but guests must have a physician’s note to buy cannabis products.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
LIST OF APPROVED VENUES FOR REOPENING OF ENTERTAINMENT SECTOR PROPOSED BY JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT
The Jamaican government has proposed a list of approved entertainment venues, anticipating the complete reopening of the sector in the near future. The venues will be made available at subsidized rates to stimulate the entertainment sector, which has experienced a serious downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This list of venues includes the facilities at Independence Park, Trelawny Stadium, and the Port Royal Entertainment Zone, including Fort Rocky and Fort Charles, and Seville Heritage Park. The reopening of the broader entertainment sector is being prepared jointly by the government and sector members about prevailing health conditions and specific protocols for particular activities.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
REGGAE GIRLZ DEFEAT NIGERIA IN OPENER OF SUMMER SERIES
Scoring early in the second half of the match between Jamaica and Nigeria at the opening of the Summer Series, Deneisha Blackwood helped the Reggae Girlz to a 1-0 victory over their competitors. Blackwood, who also plays for the Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League, scored in the 51st minute of the match. She has scored eight international goals for the Jamaican team. The Reggae Girlz were the first team from the Caribbean to play in the Women’s World Cup when they played in France in 2019. The team if preparing to qualify for the next World Cup tournament in Australia and New Zealand in 2023.