THE EDNA MANLEY COLLEGE of the Visual and Performing Arts, a leading voice in regional arts and culture, celebrates 4 decades this year. It remains the only college of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean and continues to offer world-class education in the arts. Its’ strength is embedded in a rich tradition of passion for the arts and selfless service to people. We celebrate 40 years under the theme: Inspiring Creativity, Impacting Lives.
A number of individuals started programmes in both the visual and performing arts which eventually led to the creation of the Schools of Dance, Drama, Music, and Visual Arts at different locations in Kingston. Forty years ago, 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. Later developments saw the college is recognized as the Inter-American Centre for Caribbean Cultural Development becoming a regional cultural resource institution by the Organization of American States (OAS). The college continued to evolve and was later renamed the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in honour of the Hon. Edna Manley, OM in 1995.
2016 marks a significant milestone in the college’s history and to commemorate this achievement we will be embarking on a series of celebratory activities commencing October 9, 2016, to culminate with the Rex Nettleford Arts Conference October 2017. One of our objectives is to highlight the developments of the institution over the period and to raise public awareness of the relevance of an institution of this kind in the Caribbean.
Anniversary celebrations will be yearlong and launches on Sunday, October 9, 2016, with a faculty dance production dubbed “Physical Labrish: Critical Coherence’ at the School of Dance on the college campus. This will be followed by the staging of Dennis Scott’s socio-cultural play ‘Dog’, directed by Trevor Nairne at the School of Drama on the 14th of October. Dennis Scott was Director of Studies of the School of Drama in 1976 and Trevor Nairne, a graduate of the School of Drama, was student director of Dog back in late 1970’s. The play will run October 14-23, 2016.