On Saturday July 17, whilst many Jamaicans ventured to Sumfest in Montego Bay, Trench Town had a super arts day focusing on arts, creativity and culture. Trench Town is the former home to music superstars and reggae legends such as Bob Marley, Dean Fraser and Alton Ellis.
OAaSIS team of literary, performing and visual artists made the day special despite earlier heavy showers of rain threatening to postpone or cancel the event.
The day’s activities ran from 2:00 – 6:00p.m. after it got off to a late start. The event was hosted by OAaSIS International Foundation, collaborating with the Trench Town Culture Yard, managed by Ferdie Bent, and the Reading Centre run by Canadian Roslyn Ellison.
Just after showers of rain blessed the venue, fifteen children along with a few adults including Roslyn Ellison gathered in the main area of the culture yard for the start at 2:00p.m..
Among the presentations on the stage next to the Bob Marley statue was Ellison who spoke on the work and objectives of the reading centre. Two Trench Town students, Philomena and Monique performed a poem written by Philomena.
By 3:00p.m. the number of children, ages 0-17 swelled to 120 at the Reading Centre, where hands-on workshops were conducted by OAaSIS team members.
The children, split in 4 groups, were exposed to the art of papier mache, writing, designing newspaper pages, varied craft, singing and more up until 4:00p.m.
At 4:15, the performing arts segment opened with Abatua Barrett and his three sisters – the 3-SIS back up singers, who also are the promotion team for the VENT event for teens. The impressed residents called for more after their one-song teaser performance, but they were forced to wait till the end for their return to close the day’s activities. Only once before that did they perform as singers again, and on another occasion they promoted the VENT event with a few dance away steps.
Artistes Rollie Fresh and Boom Steppa were dynamic and Boom Steppa soon became another favourite with his interactive performance of Nah Stay Poor with a few more songs. Trench Town ’s Philomena accompanied by Monique, performed again, this time with more confidence in sending their message about the area’s great achievements and talents and potential.
A soulful Ziggy Soul gave a unique spin to the day with a stirring, and uplifting performance. Belting out his own compositions tailored by the Bible’s book of Genesis complimented the Foundation’s mission to sensitise youth in understanding creation as the greatest artwork.
To assist with refreshments Jamaica Buscuits, Wisynco was aboard and their latest products shared well appreciated and sought after. Berger Paint who donated paints also donned participants in their teeshirts and caps and for the youth there were colouring books, crayons and pens.
Certificates were slated to be awarded at a later date owing to the late start, which forced a short version of the proceedings.
OAaSIS has since been contacted to visit Rema and Boys Town and other immediate environs, but seeks more businesspersons to come aboard. Trench Town itself is to be revisited to ensure tangible progress.