As a graduate of this institution, I fully understand what the arts can do for each of us and to society at large. As students of the arts, we have the power to shape the society in which we live.
Some of you chose the Arts despite many odds – the common misperceptions that you will never be able to earn a living, and you are wasting your time.
I congratulate you for being bold enough to stand in the power of those who chose this path before you and paved the way for you to CHOOSE. As you leave the safety of the EMCVPA, remain steadfast in your decision to become an artist. Know that you are among the elite – the extraordinary few who chose to make a difference in the world. I am proud of you. Your family and friends have every right to be proud of you and the role they played in your journey.
Understand that CHOICE is a privilege and with this awesome privilege comes a great responsibility. The adage, “to whom much is given, much is expected” applies to all of you. You have the privilege of the highest quality education in the visual and performing arts in the English-speaking Caribbean.
With an EMCVPA education there is no limit to what you can do!
You can be the best artist/e in the world. You have the talent and training but never forget that as artist/es, we owe it to the world to use our artistic intelligence to improve how we live as human beings.
As Eisner puts it, “there is a universal need for words, music, dance, and visual art to give expression to the innate urgings of the human spirit.”
Don’t lose sight of this responsibility. As the world relies more on computers and artificial intelligence, you have a gift science cannot give and that is the gift of emotion.
You owe it to yourself to ensure that your economic needs are met, so maximise the opportunities to earn, and even when the road gets rough, hold on to the tenets of your alma mater – create, persevere and achieve.
Congratulations, Graduating Class of 2018!
– By Coleen Douglas
Ms. Coleen Douglas is the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts.