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JCDC’s History

The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) is a dynamic cultural agency of the Ministry of Youth and Culture. With a strong ‘Brand Jamaica’ flair and vibrancy, it has positively shaped the image of Jamaica by producing a sea of world class arts luminaries who continue to wow the international scene with their unmatched creativity and artistic prowess. Globalization has presented tremendous opportunities for its continued growth and development through strategic alliances, interplay with cultures and through the utilization of information communication technology modalities.  


Being a thriving cultural force that develops, promotes, and preserves the creative talents of many Jamaicans, JCDC also has the formidable task of keeping alive the amazing intangible heritage of Jamaica that defines the core and ethos of Jamaica’s nationhood. To this end, its functions include:


  • promoting cultural programmes throughout the island
  • encouraging and organizing each year, independence anniversary celebrations and other events marking occasions of national interest
  • stimulating the development of local talents through training, competitions, exhibitions, pageants, parades  and other activities as the Commission may, from time to time, determine
  • supporting the work of other agencies engaged in the implementation of community development programmes.


For almost 50 years the JCDC has been the prime vehicle and the cultural cog for the nurturing of cultural excellence, patriotism and social hegemony. The pivotal role of this agency, therefore,   in developing Jamaica into a cultural super state and the consolidation of “Brand Jamaica” is unquestionable.


The community forms a vital part in fostering cultural development. The community allows for the transcending of cultural norms and values that form the canvas for the preservation and proliferation of Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage. The cultural values that are promoted by the JCDC through the plethora of cultural programmes and initiatives, dovetail into its paramount role in strengthening the social capital of Jamaica. This epitomizes and accentuates a national strategy as outlined in the Vision 2030 Plan to “preserve, develop and promote Jamaica’s cultural heritage”


Established in 1963, the JCDC was originally known as the Festival Office of Jamaica. In 1968 it evolved into the Festival Commission a burgeoning force for cultural development on behalf of the government.  The Act of Parliament in September, Act 32 of 1968, broadened its mandate to encourage the annual Independence Anniversary Celebrations throughout the island, as well as to stimulate the development of local talents. In May of 1980, the Commission’s mandate was extended by another Act of Parliament (Act No. 8 of 1980), and with this, its name was changed to the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission. 1980 represented a paradigm shift in the agency’s functions and responsibilities.

Our Mission

To enhance national development through cultural practices by creating opportunities that unearth, develop, preserve and promote creative talents and expressions of the Jamaican people. This will be achieved in an innovative and creative manner through professional and responsive staff collaborating with all stakeholders. 


JCDC Core Values

  • Professionalism
  • Integrity
  • Excellence
  • Creativity


Global Centre for Cultural Excellence.