THE 97th anniversary celebration of the birth of cultural icon Louise "Miss Lou" Bennett Coverley is to be taken to another level.
Come September 7, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) intends to take a two-pronged approach to celebrate this milestone, delving into the realm of social media with what is being dubbed an online party, as well as live-streaming of a tribute concert, which will allow people across the globe to join the celebrations.
According to JCDC's director of marketing and public relations, Stephen Davidson, Miss Lou is one of Jamaica's most beloved cultural icons, and everyone knows at least one of her poems which they hold dear, so the idea is to make the celebrations global.
"The JCDC realises the importance of social media in bringing our culture to Jamaicans, with special emphasis on the Diaspora and young persons, as well as others interested in Jamaican culture across the world, and we see this as a great way to increase the impact and maintaining relevance of Miss Lou's legacy. We hope to see an increased interest and participation in celebrating our culture, reaching a wider audience, thus fulfilling our vision statement of being 'the Global Centre of Jamaican Cultural Excellence'. It would be great as well if the hashtags that will be used would trend on social media on that day (#misslou2016 #auntyroachyparty). We hope to get as many views as our online viewership will allow," he told the Jamaica Observer.
Davidson said some of Jamaica's biggest names in the private and public sectors, as well as the entertainment industry, have been encouraged to celebrate Miss Lou by recording videos of themselves reciting their favourite poem, which will be featured during the online party.
"We know that members of the public are also interested in participating with their own Miss Lou tribute, and so we are encouraging them to record and send us a 45-second video clip reciting their favourite Miss Lou poem. Their poem may be selected to be aired during the live stream of the party, as well as shared on the various JCDC social media pages," Davidson said.
He continued: "We also encourage the public to share their videos on their own social media pages using the hashtags #misslou2016 and #auntyroachyparty, and tag the JCDC on Twitter and Instagram using the @jcdcjamaica handle."
Individuals interested in having their video clip be part of the Saluting Miss Lou "Aunty Roachy Online Party" should email the video clip to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, September 5.
The live tribute concert will be staged at the Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC) in Kingston, and feature Christopher 'Johnny' Daley, The Jamaica Youth Theatre, Deon Silvera, Tivoli Dance Troupe, JCDC gold medal performers, as well as members of the local theatre fraternity.
Miss Lou died in Canada in 2006. She was interred in the National Heroes Park in Kingston.