The Early Years
The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts has been through several stages in its evolution. The four Schools—Drama, Music, Dance, and Visual Arts—started out at different locations in Kingston. Two of the Schools, namely the School of Art and the School of Music, are historic because of their establishment in 1951 and 1961 respectively, before the island gained its independence from Britain in 1962.
Cultural Training Centre
In 1976, all four Schools were brought together and became a full-time tertiary institution under the aegis of the Cultural Training Centre, an arm of the Institute of Jamaica. In 1979, the four Schools were identified by UNESCO as pivotal institutions, not merely in Jamaica, but in the Caribbean and have since developed as a prime agency for cultural development. In 1983, the Organization of American States (OAS) designated the institution the Inter-American Centre for Caribbean Cultural Development thus recognizing it as a regional cultural resource institution.
Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts
However, though in proximity to each other, the Schools continued to operate autonomously until 1995 when the institution was renamed the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in honour of the Hon. Edna Manley, OM. This led to the consolidation of the College under one administrative structure with a Board of Directors, Principal and two Vice Principals.
Today the College consists of the following Schools:
- School of Visual Arts
- School of Music
- School of Dance
- School of Drama
- School of Arts Management and Humanities
- School of Continuing Education and Allied Programmes
The College’s course offering ranges from Certificate to Master degree programmes. These are geared towards essential professional preparation to students in the Arts from the Caribbean, North America and Europe. The School of Continuing Education and Allied Programmes also has part-time leisure courses and a thriving summer school.