Sunday, January 14, 2018
The Observer Lifestyle sat down with Coleen Antoinette Douglas, Director, Marketing and Communications at the Edna Manley College (EMCVPA).
What’s your favourite cocktail?
I do not drink alcohol; I do mocktails – Shirley Temple is my fave.
How do you like it?
Sweet and fizzy (lemonade, lime, club soda and cherries).
Kingston has been recognised as a creative hub. What role, if any, has the Edna Manley College played in this?
I dare say Edna is Kingston’s creative hub. It is the place for creative careers. The college has consistently produced exceptional graduates in the visual and performing arts – Kingston’s live music scene is full of Edna grads and current students. The beauty of Fleet Street is the work of some phenomenal young artists trained by the institution. Our graduates are actively working in theatre, onstage and behind the scenes.
How would you underscore this?
Edna has been a quiet force in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, and so a marketing campaign highlighting the role of the institution in improving the aesthetic sensibilities of the arts and the value of arts and culture in society.
Kingston is now a UNESCO Creative City of Music, and so I would agitate for a partnership between private sector, creative community and government in transforming downtown once a week into a festival village which showcases the unique Jamaican identity and cultural diversity.
What else should be done to ensure relevance in the creative industry?
Edna must ensure that its programmes are current, groundbreaking and pushing boundaries in the arts. Students must recognise the transformative power of the arts, and funding should be available for research in the arts.
Is it necessary for a creative to gain a diploma?
We cannot teach talent but it is important that talented individuals understand the value of an education and the importance of education in advancing their careers.
What would your advice be to today’s students at EMCVPA?
Embrace the life skills that you learn while you are studying – become a critical thinker, a cutting-edge artist and remain focused on your creative career. Practise, practise until you cannot get it wrong, and think entrepreneurship…
What’s your thought on the #metoo campaign?
I believe any kind of harassment is unacceptable and sexual harassment, especially in places of work, is definitely taboo. The #metoo campaign is symbolic of women speaking out for their rights, yet one has to be careful that innocent actions are not misunderstood.
What does Coleen do when she’s off the clock?
I have two daughters – 16 and six — so there is a lot of mummy time, cooking, a good book, listening to music, going to the beach (to read more than swim) and a good lyme with close friends.
Which five words best describe you?
Conscientious, compassionate, creative, nurturing and determined.
Which bad habit would you like to put in the rearview mirror for 2018?
Which song is on rotation in the car right now?
Peter Tosh – I Am.
Which book are you currently reading?
The Girl Who kicked The Hornet’s Nest by Swedish writer Stieg Larson (my fifth read).
Kitten heels or stilettos?
Describe your perfect date.
A Saturday walk on Portobello Road with a little antique shopping, followed by lunch at Lowry and Baker in Notting Hill, West London.
LBD or trousers?
Depends on my mood…
Finally, what’s the one place (to visit) on your 2018 bucket list?
Rototom Sunsplash in Spain.