The Art in Agriculture

The Art in Agriculture: An 'ARTivist' approach to making farming & food security appealing to youth

KINGSTON & ST. ANDREW, JamaicaKINGSTON, Jamaica
Year Founded:
2011
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

If humans are to experience progressive elaboration, can we afford a generation of people who think the supermarket feeds them? This project will elevate the typical profile of 'farmer', create opportunities for entrepreneurs in agribusiness and inspire young people to "merge with the earth".

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

we all merged with the earth?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In today's society, at large, neither Art nor Agriculture are regarded with the honor and awe they deserve. How many children do you know who are inspired by the idea of being a farmer or artisan? Of course, there are some exceptional exceptions, but most of us live almost completely disconnected from the Earth. There are too many children who think the supermarket feeds them; too many people who go hungry when there are seeds and land to plant.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Use the Arts to make agriculture 'cool'...get it 'trending'. Remind the next generation how fun & fulfilling it can be to play in the dirt. How? Recruit fifty 13 to 18 year-olds for a two-week residential camp, and tell them the truth about food. Illustrate (literally, using images) how humans evolved through, and with, their relationship to food. Debate the position that food is always in universal demand; a commodity with appreciating market value. Explore value chains and entrepreneurship opportunities in agribusiness. Teach sustainable urban farming techniques. Encourage inter-generational exchange of information and ideas. Create works of art (musical, visual, culinary, dramatic) that will inspire a desire to merge with the earth.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

X is a boy growing up poor in urban Kingston. He steals food from the local wholesale; at least, until he realizes that he can farm the abandoned lot of land near his house and feed more people that way, than by looting. The first objective of the project is to make the issue of food security personally relevant to urban youth. Then, we equip them with the skills to address the problem. This project will impart knowledge of urban farming techniques, agribusiness and value chains. We'll adopt the experiential approach and DO what we seek to learn. Our goal is a two-week residential camp, where we will plant urban farms/gardens and create works of art. The main outcome desired is reintegration with the Earth, and the culture of Agriculture.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

These are some of the statistics and issues the project is designed to address: (1) Jamaica spends over $1 Billion USD annually on food imports, but only exports $250 Million USD worth of produce each year [JIS] (2) For the 70% of the world's poor who live in rural areas, agriculture is the main source of income and employment. In the Caribbean, the rural population is about 58% of the total population [World Bank] (3) Similar to food security, poverty is a multi-dimensional phenomenon, and needs to be assessed through several indicators; the relative and absolute dimensions of poverty need to be taken into account [fao.org] (4) "The culture industry has proved to be an efficient instrument for the growth of the economy...we have all the real conditions to turn our rich cultural diversity into an effective tool to combat hunger, poverty and social exclusion" -José M. Insulza, OAS

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

This initiative is scalable. Our goal is to host this 'ARTiculture' camp annually, thereby, continuously growing the population of youth who understand the direct relevance and sense of urgency about food security, earth consciousness and agribusiness. One of our primary goals is improved public perception of the farmer; highlighting that (s)he is more than dirty overalls and wide-brimmed hats. Imagine...more urban/backyard farms, vibrant agribusinesses, art that inspires a balanced and mutually productive relationship with the land, all leading to reduced poverty and social exclusion.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

(1) Spaces will be reserved for paying campers who can afford to cover program costs (2) We have already established the interest of three potential clients in the food service and naturopathy fields, who are seeking suppliers of various short-term crops (like herbs and vegetables) that could grow in the community/urban farms (3) We can sell or license our ARTicultural creations (paintings/sculpture/music) to publications & collectors

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

These are some organizations that are already addressing the problem: College of Agriculture Science & Education, Rootz Underground (Artists for Agriculture), Farm Up Jamaica, Jamaica 4-H Clubs and The Source Farm, among others. So, why is the ARTiculure project we're proposing relevant? Our objectives are focused on personal transformation, and achieving a fundamental paradigm shift in the general attitude among youth toward farming and agribusiness. Most of the existing initiatives seek to address the problem on the ground; we seek to address the problem in the mind.
Team

Founding Story

Manifesto Jamaica is a social enterprise founded in 2010, committed to educating, exposing and empowering youth through art and culture. We believe that the creative arts can be used to effectively alleviate youth unemployment, poverty, violence and social exclusion. Our mission is to develop and attract opportunities for young people that inspire creativity, productivity and elevated consciousness, by harnessing the talents of nation builders.

Team

We are artists, entrepreneurs, disruptive innovators and nation builders, committed to harnessing the power of art and creativity to heal, transform, inspire and materialize our most audacious hopes and dreams.
About You
Organization:
Manifesto Jamaica
About You
First Name

Lesley-Ann

Last Name

Welsh

About Your Project
Organization Name

Manifesto Jamaica

How long has your organization been operating?

Project
Organization Country

, KINGSTON

Country where this project is creating social impact

, KINGSTON & ST. ANDREW

Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Individuals, NGOs, Customers, Other.

Supplemental
Awards: What awards or honors has the project received?

Canada International Development Agency Grant (2010)
European Union Grant (2012)
Tourism Enhancement Fund - Tin Forest Theatre Festival (2014)
British Council Grant - Run Free Project (2014)

Where have you learnt about the competition?

My siStar Joan Webley, Founder of Nanook and winner of the previous Makers of More challenge, shared the contest link.

Tell us about your partnerships:

Anubis Communications will support us with project management, implementation and publicity. We will attemp to establish partnerships with the following organizations, who can add value to both the agricultural and artistic aspects of the project: Rural Agricultural Development Agency, College of Agriculture Science & Education, The Source Farm, Artists for Agriculture, Farm Up Jamaica, Studio 174, Life Yard, Plant Jamaica, Paint Jamaica and JBDC

Challenges: What challenges might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

(1) Affording adequate contact hours with the youth, to effect real transformation. We will address this risk by establishing partnerships that can enable the project to continue as a weekend/after-school program. (2) Most of the youth we work with are from urban and 'inner-city' communities. Violence can erupt at any time and negatively affect project activities.

Comments

this project is already happening organically in all of our lives and across the nation. So collaboration, spearheaded by an efficient Social enterprise such as Manifesto Ja that has great relations with a wide cross-section of entities in Art and Agriculture as well as links to the grass-roots communities in JA is a must!
"eARTh without Art is just 'eh'".