Jamaica’s rich and diverse heritage will be the focus of the GraceKennedy Foundation’s (GKF) 33rd annual lecture, which will be live streamed online via Zoom on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 2:30 pm. The lecture, entitled Jamaica’s Tangible and Intangible Heritage: So Much to Tell, will be presented by Mr Vivian Crawford, Executive Director of the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ).
CEO of GKF, Mrs Caroline Mahfood, expressed her excitement about the upcoming lecture, “After a year of navigating the challenges of COVID-19 and adjusting to the new normal, we thought that it was time to reconnect with the things that have made Jamaica and its people so resilient. This is our second ever virtual lecture, and we are extremely privileged to have Vivian Crawford share with us on Jamaica’s heritage. With so much information at his fingertips, he is such a dynamic and entertaining speaker.”
Vivian Crawford has had a lifelong passion for history. By age nine, he had already learned all about his Maroon heritage from his elders, and as an adult, although trained in mortgage and commercial banking, his heart led him to the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ). He has led the Institute for 17 years total, and as IOJ’s Executive Director he is responsible for five Divisions and two Departments and serves on the Boards of the six museums and the Junior Centre that are managed by the IOJ. Under his leadership, the IOJ restored Liberty Hall: The Legacy of Marcus Garvey and introduced its Sites of Memory Programme, which commemorates outstanding records of Jamaican history through the installation of plaques. Mr Crawford also chaired a submission to UNESCO for the Declaration of the music of Moore Town Maroons to become part of the Intangible Heritage of Mankind.
“Mr Crawford has the amazing ability to engage with an audience at every level. I am really looking forward to his presentation on Jamaica’s tangible and intangible heritage, which I have no doubt will be well received,” Mrs Mahfood continued.
Intangible cultural heritage refers to the traditions, knowledge, and experiences that are passed down from one generation to the next; whereas tangible heritage refers to physical artefacts, including works of art, historic buildings and monuments. Mr Crawford’s GKF lecture will also highlight Jamaica’s natural heritage which includes its unique landscapes and endemic plant and animal species.
Over the past three decades, the GKF Annual Public Lecture has been established as an invaluable instrument of intellectual discourse, which has examined various national and regional issues including culture, politics, gender affairs, the Jamaican family, food and nutrition, voluntarism, technology, sports and the environment. The inaugural GKF lecture was presented by G. Arthur Brown, former Governor of the Bank of Jamaica in 1989. The annual event has featured many distinguished scholars including Rev Burchell Taylor, Professors Don Mills, Patrick Bryan, Errol Miller, Michael Taylor and Barry Chevannes. The cadre of influential speakers also include several outstanding Jamaican women including cultural icon and musicologist Marjorie Whylie, Professor Elsa Leo-Rhynie, Dr Maureen Samms Vaughn and Dr Pauline Milburn.
Each year, copies of the lecture book are distributed in hard copy to schools and public libraries across the island, and made available online at www.gracekennedy.com to extend the lecture’s reach. This year, the annual lecture will be presented online only due to restrictions on public gatherings associated with COVID-19. For more information and to register, visit http://bit.ly/GKFLecture2021.