Olivia Grange, the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport, has announced that cash grants for the entertainment industry has been closed due to over subscription.
She announced: “We anticipated about a thousand applications for the individual grants of J$60,000 each to members of the entertainment, culture and creative industries.
“We’ve had a very good response in a very short time and we have now surpassed our target for applications.Some 331 members of the creative industries had already received their grants, which means that so far we have paid out more than J$19 million. An additional 170 people should see the grants in their accounts this week [19 January], which would take us to 500 paid out.
“And then we would have another 800 or so applications left with the majority of those already processed and have met the criteria, and will be awarded grants.”
The JS$90m program opened last month and so far has received 1,400 applications from professionals including journalists, musicians, singers, sound engineers, video producers and writers. Individuals and organisations that were shuttered, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, can apply.
Initially the fund to support the creative, cultural and entertainment industries was J$40m, but was soon increased because of the high demand with the Ministry of Finance injecting the additional J$50m.
Grange explained during her speech in Parliament to announce the program: “Most artistes have not worked since March 2021 as concerts, tours, and other events in Jamaica and across the world have been cancelled.
“Many creative professionals have also been out of work as studios closed affecting audio, lighting and other technical production professionals, graphic designers, curators, scriptwriters, stylists, among others.
“The festival and events economy, which includes such events as the Calabash Literary Festival, Caribbean Fashion Week, StyleWeek, and over 7,200 events that would have been held in towns and communities across Jamaica, were all shuttered.”
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