Kingston Creative, in partnership with the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) and the CB Facey Foundation, sponsored two Jamaican artists to attend the annual AFJ Jamaica Charity Gala at the Perez Art Museum, Miami (PAMM). The selected artists were Richard Nattoo and Oneika Russell, rising stars in the Jamaican visual arts scene who are also CATAPULT Caribbean Art Grant recipients.
The Jamaica Charity Gala celebrated the AFJ’s 40th year of service to Jamaica, honoured Ambassador Glen Holden (Lifetime Achievement Award), Keith Duncan (International Achievement Award) & Donna Duncan-Scott (International Humanitarian Award) and raised funds to support vital programs in Jamaica. Nattoo and Russell had their work up for auction and the Gala raised approximately $200,000 USD to support vital social development programmes in Jamaica.
“This has been the highlight of my career thus far because can you imagine how “seen” it makes an artist feel to be flown out on a fully sponsored trip, all due to the merit of their career?” Richard Nattoo said, reflecting on the night. “I received an introduction that humbled me entirely: ‘This is Richard Nattoo, one of Jamaica’s rising stars in the art scene. Jamaica produces such exceptional talent.’” Richard added. “Attending this event empowered me as an artist and made me exceptionally proud to represent my country. I believe it is important for corporate entities to sponsor artists on ventures like this as it helps us to see what is possible on a global scale and how much more we can achieve as creatives for ourselves and our country. I am very grateful to the CB Facey Foundation for sponsoring my trip and helping to pave the way forward for an artist, such as myself, to make the most of the opportunity that was presented.”
“Through this connection with Kingston Creative, I was invited to attend the American Friends of Jamaica Gala in Miami where I was able to meet many of the diasporas who are committed to development and growth locally. I was able to strengthen my own connections in the art world in Miami which is always important for Caribbean artists,” said Oneika Russell. “It is incredibly important for corporate Jamaica, potential funders and philanthropists to support creative organisations, initiatives, and projects who work with and support local artists and creatives. The development of Jamaica depends on it.”