Recommendation was been made for development of a Creative Economy Act to guide the advancement of the country’s cultural and creative industries.
The proposal is among findings coming out of the Jamaica Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) mapping exercise undertaken by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) last year with support from the British Council.
The exercise was conducted by an international consulting firm, Nordicity, and had participation from over 550 CCI stakeholders, including creative business owners, artistes, freelancers and workers.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Harold Davis, in reporting on some of the findings to JIS News, said that the exercise emphasised the need to streamline the various policies and directives relating to the CCIs.
“We should consider a Creative Economy Act and other governance measures to streamline policies, strategies and mechanisms across the eight government departments related to CCIs and other support bodies,” he said.
Recommendation was also made for the establishment of a national convening or umbrella body representing and supporting the country’s cultural and creative industries.
“It is important that we have a central kind of body to represent the CCI,” adding that a “holistic approach is needed along the value chain from the supply to the demand promotion”.
Mr. Davis told JIS News that also coming out of the exercise, is the need for the development of a skills strategy and cultural infrastructure plan.
Consultations with respondents pointed to discoverability, digital skills, and data as crucial development areas for the sector.
“The biggest priority was considered digital marketing and distribution, identified by nearly half of the survey respondents. We need to develop a programme which will facilitate our creative industry entrepreneurs getting along the digital continuum in a very quick way or else they will be left behind,” Mr. Davis noted.
He said that further research and ongoing monitoring and evaluation of Jamaica’s cultural and creative industries are being recommended by the JBDC and British Council.
He indicated that the JBDC will shortly be conducting an impact assessment within the industries of the CCI, which will be supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Statistical Institute of Jamaica STATIN).
The mapping exercise was done to define the size and impact of the CCI sector and develop recommendations on how to support its continued growth.
The objective is to provide empirical data to allow for robust policy decisions, create substantive programmes of assistance, and value and measure the contribution of the creative industries to gross domestic product (GDP), employment and wealth creation.
Industries surveyed were music, literature and publishing, design, visual arts, gifts and crafts, film, television, digital media, advertising and marketing, theatre, dance and performing arts, fashion, culinary/gastronomy, museums, galleries and libraries, festivals, fairs and feasts.
The JBDC is the Government’s premier business development agency, established in April 2001 to assist in the sustainable creation and development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) in Jamaica.