The organizers of the Annual Jamaica African Dance Arts & Culture Festival are Sophia Walsh-Newman and Amaniyea Payne who have come together as loving sisters with deep connections to Jamaica and the African Dance community. After much vision and discussion, as well as to honor our Jamaican roots to Africa while paying homage to our Ancestors, especially our sister Nana Adugo Ranglin-Onura, aspire to present a dance conference and festival in February for Black History Month as well as Reggae Month. The Festival aims to present Master teachers from West Africa who have sought interest in visiting and teaching in Jamaica and have committed to the vision presented. Along with some of Jamaica’s prominent Master and indigenous teachers we aim, in a collaborative effort, to present, teach and engage participants, students and interested parties in various forms, techniques and genres of dance and drum as well as oral traditions that highlight and connect our strong Jamaican roots and retentions to the Motherland, Africa.
This festival targets the cross-cultural tourism sector and proposes to address the needs associated with clients interested in visiting the island with the intention of engaging in cross-cultural activities with the potential to generate economic incentives with Jamaica’s cultural arts community, as well as identify a wide range of community service opportunities related to sustainable development which is of concern to us, community members, officials and visitors alike.
Participants will be able to examine, experience and explore Jamaica with the added benefit of participating in cultural activities that will provide cross-cultural immersion, exchange, collaboration with the aim of identifying comparative retentions as well as learning and engaging in the cultural nuances of Jamaica.
A vital organ of this effort is in the theme “Conscious Queens Production” which pays homage to our beloved sister, Queen Nana Adugo Ranglin-Onura, in our efforts to reaffirm our livity and vision as Conscious Queens. As such, and as directed by the Ancestral Spirits, this effort is being guided, directed and supported by some very powerfully strong Conscious Queens who are working very diligently on this effort in bringing it to fruition.