Michelle McDonald (left) with Doris Gross (centre), Director of Kingston Creative & Danae Vaccianna (right), Director of Sales at the Urban Development Corporation, during the grand opening of the Kingston Creative Artisan Collective along the Kingston waterfront on August 14, 2020 – Ian Allen photo

The Gleaner: KINGSTON, Jamaica – The promotion of Jamaican culture got a boost with the opening of the Kingston Creative artisan store on Ocean Boulevard in downtown Kingston today.

The commission-free facility was provided by the Urban Development Commission (UDC) and will allow artisans to showcase their products on a sustained basis.

Prior to this, artisans were given the opportunity to show off their skills at periodic Kingston Creative art walks and once-a-month pop-up markets.

Director for Kingston Creative Doris Gross said that patrons would now have another reason to visit downtown besides coming for ice cream, fried fish, and the cool breeze.

“UDC made available, in a very quick collaboration, a space that was just sitting empty and that now got adorned and occupied by our artists,” Gross said ahead of cutting the ribbon to the artisan store.

Creative branding agency Iprint Digital decorated the space while C&W Business will provide free Internet.

“Because of COVID-19, it will become an e-commerce platform. It will be an available space for convenient deliveries and pick-ups of consignment and goods. Orders can be made here, and rather than artists having to organise themselves and having an entire delivery company beside them, it can all be made through this location,” Gross said.

Director of Sales at UDC Danae Vaccianna said that the addition of Kingston Creative in the downtown district is a signal of the development that is taking place.

“As you know, Kingston would have been the designated UNESCO’s Creative City of Music, and so you being down here is falling right into place. We welcome you to the downtown community, which is not void of any colour and excitement, and you will be adding to that, and we are excited to see how that will play out,” she said told a group of artisans and other stakeholders during the opening.