Through the Caribbean Artist Showcase, features by artists in written, video, or audio format will be published that can be used to promote the talent and diversity in the region, and to give insight into the work and life of creatives.
The programme seeks to maintain and enhance artists’ visibility, allowing a global audience to be introduced to and support new artists during this period. The programme targets individuals exploring the critical key themes of culture, human rights, gender, LGBTQIA+ and climate justice which are so relevant to the region. Each selected artist will receive a grant of $500 USD and up to 40 artists will be chosen.
See the publications showcasing the stories of these creative practitioners and the list of selected awardees from this programme below!
This has undoubtedly been a difficult period for many. The creative who is reliant on social events, audience engagements, organizational support, free and unfettered movement and community has undoubtedly also found this period particularly challenging.
The Caribbean being a region which has always struggled with institutional, state-wide and social support of the Arts, is a place where artists have always had to be particularly tenacious. The creative engine and spirit could easily be dampened and quieted in this moment of COVID lockdowns and global socio-political transitions. The CATAPULT Grant, a partnership between the American Friends of Jamaica, Kingston Creative and Fresh Milk emerged at this most crucial of times to provide support and encouragement for the Caribbean creative….
The Caribbean is a special place. In every island and landmass that makes up the region, there are cultures and subcultures which are layered, nuanced, complex and tell the story of how the region was peopled and how it continues to develop.
This multiplicity and mix of cultures and traditions that are at the same time similar as well as varied and diverse. To live and work here is also a special experience. Which is a matter of moving between the frustration with the gaps in institutional structures as well as the support and development systems. It is also the experience of seeing this as a great creative opportunity. The gaps are where innovation is found and work that emerges often further shapes the culture of this space…
At this point in time, Healing is a theme that is foremost in the thoughts of many. The ongoing Pandemic has seen many fall ill and succumb to the virus. For many others this time has also been an experience which has provided the opportunity for regeneration and recalibration. This time has provided a chance for many to reconnect with themselves, their families and their communities in nurturing, supportive and renewing ways. Through digital platforms and virtual spaces, creatives, cultural workers and creative organisations alike have been able to launch new projects, write, reconsider their social and organisational systems. They have also been able to facilitate conversations and collaborative thinking which in turn builds the momentum of activities which often leads to the development of the critical mass needed to drive and develop regional cultural industries…
As we moved through the range of work presented for the Caribbean Artist Showcase it has become evident that the Caribbean creative is filled with both the agency and the will to implement social changes. In this edition we look at creatives who through spoken word, photography, various types of performance and interventions, are seeking to activate a new state of being Caribbean. The creatives featured in this volume are highly vocal and have invented their own microsystems for reaching audiences and sustaining their craft. They are highly concerned with the future they are facing and their role in bringing about the needed change and reflection at a wider level.
An interesting point to note is how many of these creatives not only maintain their own practice but are also creating opportunities and resources for others within their field…
Erik Alfredo MartinezDominican Republic
Shannon AlonzoTrinidad & Tobago
Lucinda AudainSint Maarten
Amina Blackwood MeeksJamaica
Caryana Castillo de los SantosDominican Republic
Helen CeballosPuerto Rico
Christopher Din ChongTrinidad & Tobago
Nowé Harris-SmithThe Bahamas
Glenda-Rose LayneTrinidad & Tobago
Kenneth A. MèlendezPuerto Rico
Jodi MinnisThe Bahamas
Erica Louise RichardsJamaica
Rebel Women LitJamaica
Minori Izumi RussellJamaica
Louvenson Saint JusteHaiti
A-dZiko Simba GegeleJamaica
Vonley W. SmithBarbados
Nwannia SorzanoTrinidad and Tobago
Awilda Sterling DupreyPuerto Rico
Fabian M. ThomasJamaica
Claudette ThompsonThe Bahamas
Adele ToddTrinidad & Tobago
Steve D. WhittakerSt. Kitts & Nevis
Adrian YoungTrinidad & Tobago
CATAPULT | A Caribbean Arts Grant is a COVID-19 relief programme conceptualised by Kingston Creative (Jamaica) and Fresh Milk (Barbados) and funded by the American Friends of Jamaica | The AFJ (USA). Designed as a capacity building initiative it will directly provide financial support to over 1,000 Caribbean artists, cultural practitioners and creative entrepreneurs impacted by the pandemic and working in the themes of culture, human rights, gender, LGBTQIA+, and climate justice.