The Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music had a lot to celebrate as they closed out the first half of 2011.

On Saturday, June 25 the six-year-old Brooklyn-based not-for-profit celebrated with a ribbon cutting for their new studio CPRLive and an open house for their newly renovated office space, which has been described as “intriguing” because of the huge 4’ by 8’ brightly colored panels, which adorned the walls with images of the Caribbean and its people.

The One Love Series commissioned by CPR was created by award winning artist, Laura James in August, 2006 for their inaugural “New York Roots Reggae Family Festival – A Caribbean Family Reunion.”

There are also pieces from the “Untitled Series” by London-based painter, Dawn Taylor.

The celebration was streamed via CPRLive during its broadcast of Reggae Calling, hosted by Sharon Gordon, who is also the chair of CPR.

Many CPR members and supporters came out to stand with co-founders, Sharon Gordon and Carlyle McKetty and the CPR board of directors.

Among them, NYC Councilman Charles Barron who delivered a stirring rendition of Bob Marley’s classic, “Redemption Song,” which triggered a spontaneous sing-along, the first of many to occur during the evening. Dr. Una S.T. Clarke, NYC Councilman Jumaane Williams, N.Y. Supreme Court Judge, Sylvia Ash, and singers, Ed Robinson, Roger Robin, Paul Wayne and T.P. Elliston were also present.

INTACS Corp. assisted CPR in launching its state-of-the-art website that is slated to become the “hub” for all things CPR, including the CPRLive broadcasting platform. With support from INTACS, CPR has been broadcasting its forums live via CPRLive, extending the impact of its long running Community Conversations Series and with this innovation, the forums are now having a global impact. The forums resume in September after a break for the summer.

Increasingly, CPR has attracted the attention of the media. On April 5, as CPR’s two internet radio programs, “Real Talk” and “Reggae Calling” celebrated their first anniversary, The New York Daily News published a profile of the programs, which forecasted the launch of CPRLive and its streaming of “easy listening” roots reggae, lover’s rock, dub and old school dancehall to round out its round the clock programing as new programs are brought on stream. The plan is to increase the hours of live programing tenfold to 60 hours weekly.

Still in its beta testing mode, CPRLive plans to officially launch in time for the holidays. CPR is also one of the featured stories in the 17th Annual Reggae Festival Guide and was recently featured on BIT, Brooklyn’s Independent Cable Channel and in Black Star News. Its leaders are now frequently sought for comments on various issues impacting Jamaica.

The coalition is poised to finish the year with a bang as the seventh annual Reggae Culture Salute taking place on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Nazareth High School Performance Center featuring Big Youth, back by popular demand, World Battle of the Bands Champion, Dub Tonic Kru, as they make their New York debut and Junior Wedderburn and his Ancient Vibrations ensemble. The year ends with the annual Kwaanza celebration in December.

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