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Miramar mayor wants partnerships to expand J'can culture

Thursday, June 20, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Mayor of the City of Miramar, Florida, Wayne Messam, has extended an invitation to Jamaica and Jamaicans in the diaspora to partner with the city to facilitate cultural expansion.

Messam said the city has invested more than US$30 million in developing its cultural and athletic infrastructure “to provide venues, to provide the possibilities to identify and develop talent, and to enjoy the benefits of entertainment”.

With this investment, the city is now open to the exchange of cultural content that can be leveraged to the benefit of Jamaicans at home and in the diaspora.

Messam, who is of Jamaican parentage, was speaking in a session at the Eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, Kingston yesterday. The session was centred on exploiting the creative industries for economic growth and job creation.

“Our invitation is not only to Kingston but to Jamaica and the diaspora – we are open for business. If you have any programming, any artists, if you want a series of exchange and collaboration, the city of Miramar is open to facilitate those opportunities,” he said.

Miramar, which is said to be the fifth largest Jamaican diasporic location, is seeking to showcase Jamaican culture through live shows, exhibitions and other activities in its expanded and renovated entertainment venues.

It has an established relationship with the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC), which Messam said will be strengthened through further partnerships.

“We are finalising a sister-cities relationship where we are already collaborating as it relates to emergency response. We've been able to leverage some of our construction and engineering documents, so that they (KSAMC) can use that as information to renovate the historic Ward Theatre,” Messam explained.

Highlighting the importance of cultural interaction and exchange between youth of Jamaican heritage in the diaspora and those on the island, Messam said he is looking forward to sending a youth delegation to Jamaica to facilitate this.

To that end, discussions are already under way with sports organisers to explore having the winners of Jamaica's Boys and Girls' Athletic Championships compete against Caribbean and American sprinters at Miramar's newly expanded Ansin Sports Complex.

Performers, artists and artisans may communicate their interest to the Mayor's Office in the City of Miramar at: www.miramarfl.gov or 954-602-HELP (4357).

— JIS


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