Interest in the regeneration of Downtown Kingston has never been higher, with calls coming from Foundations, Government, Private Sector and Community residents. All parties appear to be in support of a revitalised Downtown Kingston, envisioned as a safe place to live, work and play. An unexpected boost to the advocacy effort comes from Kingston Creative’s new One Downtown campaign, which calls for Diaspora, corporates, government and individuals to unite Downtown communities through Arts and Culture.
With the support of 20 Downtown communities and over 50 local and international public and private sector partners, Kingston Creative, a registered nonprofit organisation, has already been able to make some inroads toward the vision of a Downtown Kingston Art District. This year, the 9th Creative Tourism Award from the Creative Tourism Network named Kingston the World’s Best Creative Destination for 2023. Currently underway is the final phase of the TEF-funded Paint the City Mural Project. Over 90 murals have already been created in partnership with the KSAMC. A plethora of entrepreneurship programmes have been delivered to entrepreneurs, and Kulcha Connect, a new e-commerce platform, is now live, amplifying creative businesses and facilitating cross-border sales for local creatives.
Supporting The Movement
“Sherwin Williams Jamaica continues to support Kingston Creative for a third year because we understand that art has the power to transform spaces, foster social cohesion, promote inclusivity and create a sense of identity within a community,” says Kenneth Richardson, District Manager at Sherwin Williams.
Research from GCDN.net shows that the development of Cultural Districts brings economic benefits and a sense of identity, cohesion and improved safety. Commenting on the importance of revitalising Downtown Kingston and growing the Orange Economy, Janet Crick, Deputy Director at Kingston Creative, shared, “We are so appreciative of the support and commitment of our partners like the Ministry of Culture and the Tourism Enhancement Fund, who have not only believed in the revitalisation of Downtown Kingston but have actually invested in that vision over the past six years. We look forward to developing new partnerships that support the Cultural and Creative Industries and serve as a catalyst for artists and creatives to flourish and positively impact their communities. Together, we can all make our city what we want to see – “One Downtown”!”
People in Jamaica, the Diaspora and across the world can support the vision of One Downtown through Paypal, GoFundMe or the American Friends of Jamaica “Choose A Cause” programme. To donate, visit https://kingstoncreative.org/donate/ or email email@example.com for more information on becoming a First 100 Founder of the creative city. For more information about the #OneDowntown movement, visit https://kingstoncreative.org/