SMC Group and Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts partner to boost Jamaica’s Creative Industries

(L-R) Kerry-Ann Henry, Vice-Principal, Administration and Resource Development at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA); Maurice Hamilton, Founder and CEO of the SMC Group; Dr. Trudy-Ann Barrett, Acting Principal, EMCVPA; Diane Edwards, President, JAMPRO and Gabriel Heron, VP of Marketing at JAMPRO; share a laugh after EMCVPA and The SMC Group signed an agreement to partner to enhance the Music and Audio Production, Animation, as well as, Dance specialisations at the College. The signing took place on Wednesday (May 12, 2021) at JAMPRO's Head Office in Kingston.

The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) has engaged in a partnership with global entertainment marketing agency, The SMC Group, that will see the enterprise making a ground-breaking investment to enhance the Music and Audio Production, Animation, as well as Dance specialisations at the College.

This new collaboration between EMCVPA and SMC aims to develop regional talent and intellectual property for export to international markets.  It will begin with an investment into the development of a music production studio to develop local songwriters, producers, and artistes. SMC also intends to recruit EMCVPA students for apprenticeships and job placements.

CEO of The SMC Group, Maurice Hamilton, expressed his enthusiasm for the project. “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,” he remarked. “And for SMC it creates a solid, efficient pipeline of creative talent to service our global clients.”

The CEO revealed 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.”

EMCVPA’s Vice-Principal of Administration and Resource Development, Ms. Kerry Ann Henry, echoed Hamilton’s enthusiasm for the partnership and explained that its objectives were in keeping with the College’s mission.

“There are two specific components of the institution’s stated vision which will be well served by this collaboration,” she stated. “The first is to promote partnership and collaboration to support the development of the arts and encourage networking, and the second is to create opportunities for economic enterprises that will support the development of the College. 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.”

President of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Diane Edwards, expanded on this idea as she 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.

Ms. Edwards went on to say that JAMPRO was ready to support the initiative, as it foresees excellent results coming from the agreement. She explained, “Knowledge exchange, market outreach, and the strengthening of our creative talent are just some of the positive outcomes that will come from this collaboration. From our perspective, the opportunities are endless. We will therefore be sure to support the SMC and EMCVPA partnership, and look forward to the exciting days ahead as they execute this project, and we continue the journey to make Jamaica a major creative hub.”

The Jamaica Promotions Corporation’s (JAMPRO) mission is to drive economic development through growth in investment and export. JAMPRO is an Agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment, and Commerce.

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.

About Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts

The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) is known for a rich tradition of excellence in the arts and the best choice in the Caribbean for higher education in the visual and performing arts and arts management. The College is invested in promoting the cultural diversity of the Caribbean and enriching the aesthetics sensibilities of its students through quality education and training in the visual and performing arts. With the School of Arts Management, the college further taps into the unlimited potential of the Cultural and Creative industries to bolster economies and create meaningful careers for its graduates.

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