Jamaican sculptor Basil Watson was recently commissioned to create a monument in honor of Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The renowned artist who has been previously contracted by the island’s ministry of culture, gender, sports and entertainment to create images of Olympian Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Frasier Pryce was named the designer of the statue to be erected in Atlanta, Georgia later this year.
“I am very proud that Basil Watson, an outstanding Jamaican artist, has been selected to develop a monument celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr.,” Olivia Grange, the minister of all four portfolios said: “Basil has been one of our leading sculptors and this is a recognition of the great work that he does and an endorsement of Jamaican talent.”
“I look forward to his design, which I know will be awesome and inspiring.”
Watson is currently designing monuments in honor of Jamaica’s Olympic athletes Veronica Campbell Brown and Asafa Powell.
Consul General Trudy Deans is no longer the chief advocate for Jamaicans residing in New York. According to reports, the diplomat has vacated the position she held for two years because a contract she agreed expired on Dec. 31, 2018 and was not renewed by the government of Jamaica.
Deans, the 10th consul general to represent the island was the fourth female to serve in the position and the youngest ever appointed.
Tasked with jurisdiction over 33 states, Deans was appointed in 2016 and took office in October of that year.
Prior to her appointment, Deans served as vice consul and community relations officer at the consulate.
Deputy CG Lisa Bryan is now the acting official in that position.
Grenada Broadcasting Network was present to capture the pinning of the nation’s newest ambassador Yvette Noel Schure. There when the honor was presented by Francine Stewart, Grenada Tourism Authority marketing executive in the presence of Brenda Hood, culture and tourism adviser, the Spice Island media outlet broadcasted the ceremony.
Noel-Schure who was born in Birch Grove is acclaimed as a music publicist with a client list encompassing John Legend, Prince, Destinys Child, Mariah Carey and Beyonce.
In that capacity she has promoted tourism to the island and during times of strife has rallied her wealthy clients to donate to hurricane relief efforts.
The celebrated specialist was on the island as a guest of the Silver Sands Hotel, a new luxury resort located on the Grand Anse Beach.
A long list of reputed reggae artists are booked to pay tribute to the genre during the staging of the 2019 Rebel Salute, an annual marathon concert founded by dancehall artist Tony Rebel.
Bushman, Half Pint, Luciano, The Wailers, Bounty Killa, Jah Cure, Garnet Silk Jr., Yvad, Fanton Mojah, Mr. Vegas, Ken Booth, Jesse Royal, Yellowman, Cat Coore, Horace Andy, Queen Ifrica, Michael Rose, Capleton, Chuck Fenda, Junior Kelly, Terry Ganzie, Mr. Easy, Leroy Smart, Koffee, Mighty Diamonds, Wayne Wonder, Wayne Marshall, Dawn Penn, Chalice, Wailing Souls, Dawn Penn are some of the names committed to the event that will present the various aspects that comprise the Jamaican music beat.
At the launch of the festival, Olivia Grange, the island’s minister of sports, gender, culture and entertainment lauded the organizers and the genre saying that the Jan. 18 and Jan. 19 event will aptly recognize “the role played historically by reggae music in the liberation of oppressed people across the world.
As the first major reggae music festivals in Jamaica to be staged since reggae music was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity last year, the minister who lobbied for its addition said that “we had to fight” for this inscription, which is something that we must “never take for granted.”
“Among the signature features of Rebel Salute is its unabashed presentation of our Jamaican and African heritage.
Tony Rebel and Rebel Salute understand the importance of presenting to our people the dignity and integrity of our African ancestry as represented by the Rastafari culture and ideology. It is about inspiring our people to stand proud in promoting our heritage.”
The popular concert series will be held in St. Ann’s a parish on the island reputed for being the birthplace of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr. the nation’s first national hero as well as the avowed king of reggae, Robert Nesta Marley.
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