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Visual & Performing Arts Jamaica (VPAJ)

The Visual & Performing Arts Jamaica (VPAJ) is an independent, non-profit organisation whose mission is to facilitate the local and international competitiveness of Jamaica’s creative industries. More specifically, it seeks to promote the business aspects of these enterprises and at the same time foster collaboration within and between their respective industries.

Since its establishment in early 2008, VPAJ’s membership has grown to over 350 members - individuals, small firms and partner organisations - drawn from the following creative industries: authors, illustrators and publishers; dance; film and tv; music; theatre; visual arts; as well as the plethora of affiliated providers of goods and services.

Considered groundbreaking for many reasons, VPAJ’s commitment to work simultaneously with these various industries is underpinned by its long-term vision of an integrated and holistic approach to their development. Since its inception, VPAJ has undertaken more than 20 projects in Jamaica, the wider Caribbean, the US, as well as Europe, including training/skill upgrading workshops and seminars; spearheaded market penetration activities, promotional shows and exhibitions for its members’ creative work overseas, and fostering networking opportunities within and between its constituent creative industries, locally and internationally. It has also served as a representational body as well as a two-way information channel with the public and private sectors, and the donor community.

In late 2009, VPAJ launched a dynamic and innovative website to showcase its members’ creative products and serve as a repository of information on all aspects of Jamaica’s creative environment. This will be further developed so as to enhance its marketing potential and stimulate e-commerce for all VPAJ members.

VPAJ is committed to stimulating opportunities within Jamaica – including strengthening linkages with the tourism industry – as well as exploring potential overseas market collaborations in the wider Caribbean region as well as further afield, including with the Jamaican Diaspora communities.

Phasing in services over time, at full capacity VPAJ will offer the following:

  • Professional support to its members, including business development; training; collective promotion and marketing; fundraising assistance; project management; networking, locally and overseas; and market research.
  • A creative incubator facility and accompanying structured business support and mentoring programme, offered physically and virtually.
  • Industry-specific support such as professional certification programmes, specialised technical and creative development activities; and industry-wide information and discussions on salient topics.
  • A common secretariat which can represent, lobby and advocate on behalf of Jamaica’s creative industries.
  • Promotion of public awareness and outreach activities to encourage the development of talent and creative expression, island- and region-wide.

Contact: Katrine Smith, Business Development Consultant, Visual & Performing Arts Jamaica, P.O. Box 129, Kingston 8, Jamaica; tel.: (1 876) 399 2552 and 756 0978; fax: (1 876) 632 3155; e-mail: katrinesmith@vpaj.org; www.vpaj.org