Jamaica’s creative sector has received a major boost through a partnership between global entertainment marketing agency, The SMC Group, and The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA). This arrangement aims to foster the development of Jamaican talent and the island’s Creative Industries.
The venture will begin with an investment into the development of a music production studio to support local song writers, producers, and artistes. SMC also intends to recruit EMCVPA students for apprenticeships and job placements. This ground-breaking initiative will enhance the music and audio production, animation, as well as dance specialisations at the College.
The partnership is the latest positive development in the island’s creative industries which have seen considerable growth in recent years.
In the film industry, more than 4000 film-related jobs have been created in the last three years while approximately 150 foreign productions are facilitated per year?. Over 3 billion JMD in film production expenditure was contributed to GDP in the last two years,? and approximately 65-70 percent of crews hired on most international film productions in Jamaica are local.
The country also has a growing animation industry with 15 local studios having participated in government-led programmes to increase their profitability and sustainability.
CEO of The SMC Group, Maurice Hamilton, revealed that the collaboration between the group and EMCVPA will add to the progress that has already been made in the creative industries by expanding investment into the areas of talent and content in the music and audio-visual sectors.
“This is the first step of an exciting initiative to establish Jamaica and then the wider Caribbean region as a creative hub that will develop creative and business professionals as well as content,” the CEO remarked. “And for SMC, it creates a solid, efficient pipeline of creative talent to service our global clients.”
The CEO also disclosed that SMC intends to build a centre of excellence in Jamaica and will be engaging in additional investments and local partnerships.
“We want to ensure that our commitment to Jamaican talent is substantive,” he insisted. “Through greater education, funding, and through our network within the global marketplace we can provide a platform from which Jamaican talent can flourish internationally.”
The island has seen several ventures over the years led by the private sector, public sector or both, which seek to advance the creative industry. Programmes such as the Business of Sustainability for Studios (BOSS) programme, JAFTA Propella film development programme, and the Film Lab initiative help entrepreneurs grow their animation and film production studios, and increase content development.
In the spirit of these collaborations between industry stakeholders, Diane Edwards, President of Jamaica’s investment and export promotions agency, JAMPRO, welcomed the cooperation between SMC and EMCVPA.
“At JAMPRO, we believe that partnership is essential to building local industries and to creating valuable opportunities for Jamaica’s people, so we are pleased to see this agreement between SMC and Edna Manley College,” she said.
EMCVPA’s Vice Principal of Administration and Resource Development, Ms. Kerry Ann Henry, shared her enthusiasm for the partnership and explained that its objectives were in keeping with the college’s mission. She stated, “This is a partnership that will not just strengthen our respective organizations, it will be of enormous benefit to the country in fields related to the visual and performing arts.”
About The SMC Group
The SMC Group operates in 17 markets across the globe and has worked on campaigns for brands like The Coca-Cola Company, Net-A-Porter, Unilever, Diageo, Cartier and a host of globally recognizable names. Their projects have also involved celebrities like Jamaican Olympian Usain Bolt, Korean pop band BTS, Colombian superstar Maluma and American celebrities such as Kevin Hart, Jason Derulo and Kanye West.
The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO)’s mission is to drive economic development through growth in investment and export. JAMPRO is an Agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment, and Commerce.
For more information on JAMPRO, please visit https://dobusinessjamaica.com/.