Rex Nettleford Arts Conference Celebrates Five Years with Intercultural and Cross-cultural Exchanges

Beauty and the plus Size Beast
Beauty and the plus Size Beast

Kingston, Jamaica – September 27, 2019 – The Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts will again host its’ Biennial Rex Nettleford Arts Conference from October 9-11, 2019 under the theme ‘The Arts: Intercultural and Cross-Cultural Exchanges’. The Conference aims to examine the ways in which the arts are implicated in the health and sustainability of our education systems, economies, and societies and position the arts as central to the innovative capacity required to champion development locally, regionally, and globally.

Award-winning Poet, Jericho Brown is the Keynote Speaker at the Opening Ceremony which follows a Spoken Word Festival on Wednesday, October 9, 2019.  Brown will also feature in a special Reading and Book Signing Event on Thursday, October 10, 2019, at 6 pm. The Conference sessions, which begin at 9:00 am on October 10 and 11, respectively will feature over 60 offerings in a variety of formats including workshops, lecture demonstrations, performances and exhibitions, including a collaboration with School of Visual Arts (SVA), New York. The exhibition brings together 63 of the myriad posters created at SVA for display in the vast New York City subway system, offering a glimpse of the history of the College and the collective talent of its acclaimed design and illustration faculty. It is curated by SVA’s Executive Vice President Anthony P. Rhodes, who has served as Creative Director for the posters since 2007.

 The School of Drama’s first production for the year will close the proceedings with a One Wo/Man Show which features the final year productions of two graduates. One Wo/Man’ is a showcase of new monodramas, which emerge from the School of Drama BFA students’ final year project called ‘Independent Study’. The project requires the student to pull together all of her/his theatre knowledge and competencies from their previous three years of training in research, devising, dramaturgy, playwrighting, design, directing, and of course acting. They then marry these skill sets with research into a topic of interest or curiosity that leads to the production of a one wo/man show which s/he will devise, write, design, direct, and act in. In so far as the Rex Nettleford Arts Conference is a gathering of artists, cultural researchers and academics, speaking about research, the occasion is an opportune moment to remount these productions. The plays to be presented are Samantha Thompson’s ‘Beauty and the Plus Sized Beast’ and ‘Phobia’ by Rajeave Mattis, which were the top productions of 2016 and 2017, respectively.  They are new plays that our audience really must-see.

The Rex Nettleford Arts Conference is in its fifth year and celebrates the life and work of the Hon. Professor Rex Nettleford whose visions for Caribbean creativity and identity the College upholds.


The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) is the premier arts college in the English-speaking Caribbean whose mission is to enrich the aesthetic sensibilities and promote the cultural diversity of the Caribbean through the highest quality education and training in the visual and performing arts.

The college operates six Schools – The Schools of Visual Arts, Drama, Dance, Music and Arts and a School of Continuing Education which offers part-time leisure and per credit courses in a number of areas, as well as an exciting Junior Programme for kids and teens.

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.

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