The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC)
The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) is a dynamic cultural agency with a strong ‘Brand Jamaica’ flair and vibrancy, it has positively shaped the image of Jamaica by producing a sea of world class arts luminaries who continue to wow the international scene with their unmatched creativity and artistic prowess. Globalization has presented tremendous opportunities for its continued growth and development through strategic alliances, interplay with cultures and through the utilization of information communication technology modalities.
Being a thriving cultural force that develops, promotes, and preserves the creative talents of many Jamaicans, JCDC also has the formidable task of keeping alive the amazing intangible heritage of Jamaica that defines the core and ethos of Jamaica’s nationhood. To this end, its functions include:
- Promoting cultural programmes throughout the island
- Encouraging and organizing each year, independence anniversary celebrations and other events marking occasions of national interest
- Stimulating the development of local talents through training, competitions, exhibitions, pageants, parades and other activities as the Commission may, from time to time, determine
- Supporting the work of other agencies engaged in the implementation of community development programmes.
For over 50 years the JCDC has been the prime vehicle and the cultural cog for the nurturing of cultural excellence, patriotism and social hegemony. The pivotal role of this agency, therefore, in developing Jamaica into a cultural super state and the consolidation of “Brand Jamaica” is unquestionable.
The community forms a vital part in fostering cultural development and it allows for the transcending of cultural norms and values that form the canvas for the preservation and proliferation of Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage. The cultural values that are promoted by the JCDC through the plethora of cultural programmes and initiatives, dovetail into its paramount role in strengthening the social capital of Jamaica. This epitomizes and accentuates a national strategy as outlined in the Vision 2030 Plan to“preserve, develop and promote Jamaica’s cultural heritage”.
Established in 1963, the JCDC was originally known as the Festival Office of Jamaica. In 1968 it evolved into the Festival Commission, a burgeoning force for cultural development on behalf of the government. The Act of Parliament in September, Act 32 of 1968, broadened its mandate to encourage the annual Independence Anniversary Celebrations throughout the island, as well as to stimulate the development of local talents. In May of 1980, the Commission’s mandate was extended by another Act of Parliament (Act No.8 of 1980), and with this, its name was changed to the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission. 1980 represented a paradigm shift in the agency’s functions and responsibilities.
The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission is responsible for National Celebratory and Commemorative events, including: Independence Anniversary Celebration, Emancipation Celebration, Floral & Civic Ceremonies:The Rt. Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante, The Rt. Excellent Norman Manley, The Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey, National Heritage Week, Miss Lou Week, Bob Marley Symposia, National Church Services.
Through the staging of the JCDC Annual Festival of the Performing Arts Competition, the talents of many Jamaicans are exposed and developed. Subsequently, the Commission has created a hub of distinguished cultural practitioners who impact positively on the cultural landscape of Jamaica. In the Arts Development Programme, participants are trained and exposed through workshops, seminars, and symposia in the following areas:
Dance (includes the Deaf Dance Competition)
Traditional Folk Forms
In addition to the Performing Arts Programme, JCDC stages the following events:
National Creative Writing Competition and Exhibition
Culinary Arts Competition
National Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition
Children Jonkunnu and Mento Band Competitions
There are a number of other Competitions organized by the JCDC annually under the Entertainment Arts, including:
Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition
Festival Song Competition (formerly Popular Song Competition)
World Reggae Dance Championship
Jamaica Children Gospel Song Competition
Jamaica Gospel Song Competition
To be the Global Centre of Jamaican Cultural Excellence
To influence national development positively by creating opportunities that unearth, develop, preserve and promote the creative talents and cultural expressions of the Jamaican people, through a professional and dynamic team, thereby advancing brand Jamaica worldwide.
- Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts
- Institute of Jamaica
- Jamaica Archives and Records Department
- Jamaica Information Service
- Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO)
- Jamaica Tourist Board
- Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport
- Ministry of Justice
- National Heritage Trust
- National Library of Jamaica
- Office of Registrar of Companies (ORC)
- Tourism Product Development Company
- United Nations Conference on Trade And Development