The Ubuntu Creative Arts Project (UCAP) was created out of a desire to create a choice where none seemed to exist for many. Many persons, when told to pick a path in life typically select the most financially feasible option, and the one that they can afford. Jamaica is known for its rich creative culture and, while that may be appear to be encouraged in the media and for the purposes of promoting our brand internationally, we still prefer to nudge our youth to purse the traditional fields.
Going through the high school system in Jamaica, the Project’s Founder and CEO (Kathryn Lawrence) found it disappointing that, there were there little to no scholarship opportunities and financial assistance for persons wanting to pursue careers of this nature. Furthermore, many of the tertiary levelled institutions that were invited to talk to the students were colleges and universities that provided traditional programs.
To many, this sends a subconscious message that says “not only do I have few options, but I also would not be able to afford it on my own even if I could pursue my passion.” Furthermore, mentorship, guidance and advice on how to pursue these fields are minimal. Many persons find the secret and don’t feel inclined to share with those who are coming after them.
In a desire to “be the change” and as a result of a seed of advice planted by her mother, Kathryn decided to take a step and start a platform that would inspire young creatives to push past what society dictated and to follow their dreams.
It’s important to note that every career choice, whether conventional or non-conventional has its merit. As such the initiative does not aim to disregard their importance. The project simply aims to give them a choice. The goal is to break the stigma attached to non-traditional fields by showing person that there are others who are willing to invest in their passion and innate creativity and that they too can make successful careers out of them. The goal is to broaden their views on who they think they can be and inspire them to be greater and to create more than they could ever imagine.
The name “Ubuntu” comes from a Zulu phrase “Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu” which means “I am because we are.” It was selected because, in truth, we are all made up of those who came before us and it is our duty as human beings to, as our wealth and success grow, help others who want to follow similar paths.
So, without further adieu we bring you the Ubuntu Creative Arts Project. Stay tuned.