Jamaica’s Ambassador has called upon Jamaicans in California to come together to leverage Jamaica’s creative industry by establishing “Jammywood”.
“I think it’s time for the Diaspora in California to dream big and begin to monetize the Jamaican culture – our food music and dance. If you think about it we are all ambassadors for our country, especially its culture which has so influenced the world stage that people are constantly amazed at our global size”, Ambassador Marks said.
Delivering the keynote address at the Jamaica Awareness Association of California (JAAC) 30th anniversary banquet at the airport Marriott hotel, Ambassador Marks said the establishment of “Jammywood” as the seat of Jamaica’s creative industry has the potential to be a big, mega income earning industry.
She said the scope of monetization of our creative industry is potentially lucrative when one considers that in Hollywood there is now demand for greater recognition of diversity. Jamaican actresses and actors like Madge Sinclair, Sheryl-Lee Ralph and Jeff Gunther Anderson have brought the Jamaican flavor to Hollywood, being trail blazers for others coming behind them.
“When I speak about the potential for “monetization”, I’m not simply talking about becoming the next famous movie star, but about all areas of film making, directing, producing, documenting and other forms of storytelling. She said there are sufficient number of people who are interested in Jamaica and its culture to warrant taking charge our own destiny and telling our story our way, with authenticity.
Ambassador Marks told the large audience of Jamaican’s and friends of Jamaica that the Jamaican brand is a globally recognized brand. Our music like Reggae and dancehall, even our movie making have recognized potential.
The Ambassador added that it’s time we use the creative industries to transform our uniqueness, resiliency, creativity and commitment to turn the best of our culture into real economic opportunities.
Ambassador Marks emphasized that the key to harnessing our creative industry is an active collaboration between connected members of the Diaspora and our talented local creative industry community. “We can start by organizing more concerts and tours in the USA, knocking on the doors of studios in Hollywood to do more to incorporate Jamaican culture in productions involving music, dance, fashion and other areas that we are known for including athletics”.
The establishment of “Jammywood” is possible with hard work and an informed strategic plan of action with people who are willing to participate, support and invest in this vision.
Ambassador Marks lauded JAAC for their over 30 years of outstanding achievement and contribution to Jamaica. Dr. Lawrence Weeks, Dr. Barnett Grier and Mr. Stepfon Glen were recognized for giving 15 years of service to the organization’s medical mission.