Jamaica’s Arts & Culture
The visual, literary and performing arts have exploded since coming into their own in the 1960s. The creative imagination of the Jamaican people has manifested itself in a vibrant and distinctive arts scene. From intuitive to trained, and traditional to modern, Jamaican artists continue to produce riveting visual pieces that communicates to viewers on several levels. Some of these pieces can be seen and purchased at:
- The National Gallery of Jamaica, home of the National Collection of Art
- Mutual Life, Bolivar, Grosvenor and other contemporary art galleries
- Craft shops and craft market
Our creative writers, actors and speakers have given voice to a myriad of issues that affect the daily experiences of our people. Many of these expressions are couched in the Jamaican dialect, patois, which adds an unmistakable authenticity. Plays, poetry readings and comedy sessions can be enjoyed at several venues across the island. The traditions of Jonkunnu, Revivalism, Dinki Minni, Kumina, Quadrille and Mento are still observed across the island. They play a key role in various rituals and recreational events and continue to influence contemporary performances. Their influences add colour to the annual national pantomime, a Jamaican folk musical with original songs and dances, and of the routines of dance companies such as the National Dance Theatre Company and L’Acadco. Musical entertainment in the form of stage shows, parties and festivals abound throughout the year. There is the internationally acclaimed Reggae Sumfest, and the well-established Rebel Salute. Dancehall fans can enjoy all the contemporary offerings of the genre at stage shows such as Sting, Firelinks, Reloaded and Fully Loaded among others. There are also popular street parties Passa Passa in Western Kingston, Weddy-Weddy Wednesday, Hot Mondays and Oldies Sunday.