Earlier in 2013, fans of Peter Tosh worldwide submitted ideas for ways to improve their own communities, inspired by the message in Peter Tosh's song, Can't Blame The Youth. Then, the fan community voted to fund two of those initiatives. The winners of the 2013 Peter Tosh "Can't Blame The Youth" campaign are Studio Black in Bluefields Jamaica and Casa Milagro in Costa Rica!
Proceeds from this Stage It will benefit both endeavors, in the spirit of Peter Tosh. Thank you SO much to Eric Rachmany for participating in the Can't Blame The Youth campaign, and continuing Peter Tosh's activist legacy!
About Casa Milagro: Here in Costa Rica The Casa Milagro foundation has many projects going on all over the country. We have interns and volunteers working on Sea Turtle Conservation sites in very remote places, schools, National Parks and the list goes on and on. Here in Hojancha however, at Vecinos Del Mundo and Tropical Adventures headquarters, we live in and work collaboratively with the community to organize activities for people of all age groups to participate in. As of now we have movie night once a week for the younger kids showing films which relate to moral concepts such as environmental conservation, caring for your neighbor etc., after school programs for the elementary school age children and english lessons in the afternoon and evening two times a week for adults who did not learn in school. The particular project we are now working on we have named the Youth Distance Learning Project. The goal is to connect the classes here in Hojancha with those of the United States, France and elsewhere. Incredibly we already have over one hundred interested classes abroad. The problems we face is that the school here is very limited technology wise. What little internet they do have, is still not nearly strong enough to run programs like Skype or other softwares that provide videochat services. Our solution is to attempt to build an office/cultural media center in which we would have a projector, several computers a solid internet connection and a printer where we could lead these Distance Learning “sessions”. Here the town’s Botanical Garden has already offered to donate space on the land to build said center. This would be a great location because it is located very close to the school so the teachers and their students can easily utilize it. The center would also be a great place for our interns to work as currently we do not have a designated office other than the small house that all of the interns live in. We believe this project will cost us 10,000 dollars to fully complete but we are seeking any funds that will at least help us to break ground.
About Studio Black: Studio Black is looking for assistance in the expansion of its operations in Belmont, Westmoreland. Artist Calvin Clunie, best known as Jah Calo, would like to begin formal apprenticeship programs and a Youth Art initiative to further develop the arts and culture of the Bluefields area. This project calls for the construction of a 16’ x 28’ space to serve as workshop and gallery. The open work space will be used for training and demonstrations as well as be available for artists to use on a shared schedule. The enclosed gallery will exhibit a variety of locally made crafts and periodically hold exhibitions featuring different artists or themes. The Studio has many activities planned and in order to accommodate them, it must expand. With the completed physical facility of Studio Black we can begin to push this cultural renaissance, having created a space for training, employment, and engagement. Proceeds from the sale of artwork will feed back into our programs allowing for continued education and outreach. We will hold special events and fundraisers with a focus on culture. Studio Black intends to encourage artisans and trainees to become independent, to build their own studios in the area in order to develop an Art Trail through Bluefields.
Located on Jamaica’s South Coast Highway, Studio Black has been an important part of the Bluefields community since 1977, celebrating its 35th anniversary alongside Jamaica50. Jah Calo’s work, commissioned by local businesses and foreign visitors, is seen across the community and the globe. Those who take time to visit his workshop by the sea are sure to take home an experience as well. Shops and bars across town kindly refuse credit with colourful signs designed by him. Calo’s generous contributions to community include the murals of our Basic School and Community Center. His most famous work perhaps is the entrance to the Peter Tosh Memorial in Belmont.
Mr. Clunie is also very active in community development. He was one of the founding members of the Bluefields Peoples Community Association (BPCA) in 1988. Certified in the Team Jamaica training, he received the Best Team Player Award and currently serves as the Team Jamaica coordinator for Bluefields and Beeston Springs. He mentors countless individuals, but is especially dedication to the youth. His favourite themes: education and empowerment. As Studio Black expands its space, Jah Calo wishes to expand the vision. This application seeks assistance with the building of much more than a physical structure. It is a meeting place where art become the medium by which community is made.
The expansion of studio Black will cost $5,000 in materials. As soon as construction is complete, Studio Black will begin a Youth Art Program in collaboration with area schools to encourage our young generations to explore and encourage their creative abilities. Studio Black will hold workshops to explore new and old craft techniques, while encouraging experimentation. Training programs will be offered to those interested in beginning or enhancing their craftwork. Based on initial surveys and research in the area, there is a great demand for such opportunities. We can expect area arts to revive and thrive if it is strategically linked into broader objectives of area development, both socially and economically. Artwork produced by students will also be a part of our special exhibitions. We plan to create public art spaces around Bluefields to nice up the area for local residents and to encourage our visitors to take time in enjoying our community
Development surrounding the arts and culture of Bluefields is a logical advancement. With the increased interest in heritage and cultural tourism, art and culture become significant resources to draw on. But these are precious resources and must be used in responsible and respectful ways. The Studio Black Project will focus on the mentoring aspects of art and culture to bring together the creative communities of Bluefields. This project is meant to promote strong, positive values as well as home grown craft products. Education, jobs and skills training are among our most pressing needs in Bluefields. Traditional knowledge, like that which surrounds art and culture, remains a critical resource for the future.