“A good artist, it is often said, is fifty to a hundred years ahead of their time. The artist must depict this new world before all the evidence is in. … Leaders must learn the same artistic discipline, they must learn to respond or conceive of something that will move in the same direction in which the world is moving, without waiting for all the evidence to appear on their desks. To wait for all the evidence is to finally recognize it through a competitor’s product.”
—David Whyte, The Heart Aroused

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Here are Top Ten reasons to support the Arts in Jamaica, put together by Anthea McGibbon, founder of OAaSIS International Foundation.

  1. Arts fuel prosperity: Being fundamental to our very existence, arts is in everything. Ever more important than adding aesthetic value, art is science extended by critical thought. Therefore the arts help one to research, experiment, test, discover and express our values, ensuring a linkage between, and, compounding cultures, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age.
  2. Arts integral to academic achievement: With the advent of STEAM – that is the incorporation of the Arts in STEM (a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), students in Jamaica are honed as innovators. Students are now better critical thinkers with a higher degree of adaptability to and processing skills in varied disciplines, hence better achievers.
  3. Arts drive the economy: As innovators, the artists, artisans and artistes are able to incorporate all disciplines into creating and providing unique products and services to satisfying human needs. Employers and businesses benefit from innovative creative staff, with their abilities to a. redesign problems and thus new perspectives, b. unravel complexity, c. link ideas, tasks and events, d. apply imagination to trigger ideas and initiative, e. take conceptual risks, f. work within constraints eg budgets, g. awaken insights, h. transform vision into action, i. inspire others into achieving and becoming visionaries.
  4. Arts integral to human development hence nation advancing: Students are channeled into being more self-directed learners, connect with each other better, motivated to learn through varied methods.
  5. Arts improve tourism: The products and services of local artists, artisans and artistes reflect the authenticity of Jamaica’s culture and hence drive tourist interest to the island and our people worldwide. More families are better able to sustain themselves, contributing better to businesses and employers.
  6. Arts as an export industry: The exports of creative goods and services (e.g. paintings, craft, music) grows every year. Help students understand the careers in Arts (Art Career Library on this site)
  7. Arts spark creativity and innovation: The Conference Board reports that creativity is among the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders—with 72 percent saying creativity is of high importance when hiring. The biggest creativity indicator? A college arts degree. Their Ready to Innovate report concludes, “The arts—music, creative writing, drawing, dance—provide skills sought by employers of the 3rd millennium.” Nobel laureates in the sciences are 17 times more likely to be actively engaged in the arts than other scientists.
  8. Arts create social impact: Worldwide, researchers have proven that an engagement in the arts fosters a more intense civic engagement and child welfare, and lower crime and poverty rates.
  9. Arts improve healthcare: It is observed that arts provide an output for positive energy and releasing and conversion of negative energy. Art as a natural part of the human, facilitates deeper understanding of emotions, self-awareness, even allowing persons to express themselves in one form or another.
  10. Arts translate to business opportunities: The Creative Industries are arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. [A 2015 analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data counts 702,771 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts that employ 2.9 million people—representing 3.9 percent of all businesses and 1.9 percent of all employees.]