Tuesday, 13 March 2018

NEWS & NOTES: JDU honours Nettleford, McDaniel and others + 5,000 scholarships to be offered under ECAP + UWI’s Densil Williams says Budget increase not enough

PIONEERING SPIRIT: Each year, to add to the prestige of the Jamaica Dance Umbrella (JDU) showcase, the organizers select a handful of iconic dance theatre practitioners to honour with special awards. Past honorees include Tony Wilson, Monica Campbell-McFarlane and Dr. MoniKA Lawrence. Last week, almost a decade after the first-ever JDU show, the organizers opted to go back to basics and pay special tribute to National Dance Theatre Company founding father Prof. Rex Nettleford. The company’s new Artistic Director Marlon Simms (above) was on hand to collect the award. In addition to Nettleford, last Ashé founder Joseph Robinson was also posthumously recognized, alongside legendary US-based choreographer Jackie Guy and Barbara McDaniel, whose work with the Wolmer’s Dance Troupe and Dance Theatre Xaymaca continues to thrill audiences. For the record, Michael Holgate, whose brainchild gave birth to the JDU, is proud of how far the festival has come over the course of ten years. “I always wanted to do a show that unifies the dance community,” he says, “to bring the companies together in a festival that showcases the best of what Jamaica has to offer.” 

HIGHER LEARNING: The University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) has teamed up with the education ministry to offer 5,000 new scholarships under its Early College and Advanced Placement programme (ECAP), which is aimed at students aged 16 to 18 years and will be offered initially through 50 high schools from 10 parish clusters across Jamaica. “We are investing in the young people of this country who have a clear vision and a deep yearning for high-quality student education,” says UCC Group Executive Chairman, Dr. Winston Adams, “and we will support them to build a transparent, compelling plan for their academic development.” 

Sound byte! 
“A 15% increase in the Budget is still not sufficient to deal with the myriad of social ills. But given the still very tight fiscal space within which the Government has to operate in order to ensure that it further entrenches the much-needed stability in the macroeconomy to lay a more solid foundation for future growth, it is understandable that the increase is within reasonable limits. For although the prospects of the Jamaican economy are looking good, we are still not out of the woods.” – Economist and UWI professor Densil Williams

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