A Cultural Researcher and Specialist in the fields of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Creative Industries, David Brown is the Director: Policy and Research within the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.
As a field researcher, he has travelled through communities island wide and documented Jamaican cultural elements including Jonkunnu, Gerreh, Revival, Rastafari, Kumina. David has also collected primary research material on the Maroon communities in Jamaica for more than two decades. That information was used to inform, among other publications, a dossier submitted to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in support of the inscription of the element The Maroon Heritage of Moore Town, Portland in 2008. That historic inscription was Jamaica’s first on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It would, however, be followed by a submission in support of the element Reggae Music of Jamaica. David was tasked to lead a lobby to the members of the Intergovernmental Committee of the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Paris, to garner support for the Reggae file, as he was one of the main authors of the dossier. His work informed the decision to inscribe Reggae Music of Jamaica at the Thirteenth Intergovernmental Committee Meeting of the UNESCO 2003 Convention in Port Louis, Mauritius on November 29, 2018.
David is also a UNESCO Global Facilitator for the 2003 Convention and has the distinction of being a member of an international group of Experts on Intangible Cultural Heritage that currently numbers only 171 persons. As Facilitator, he has conducted capacity training workshops in Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, France, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Sint Maarten, Suriname and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, where he provided expert advice on their dossier in support of the element Jonkunnu which was inscribed in 2023. In Jamaica, he led a workshop in Trench Town on the safeguarding of living heritage in urban contexts in 2019. Reggae music as a tool for community development, and for the monetization of culture, were key components of that workshop.
The harnessing of the economic potential of the Cultural and Creative Industries sector in Jamaica is also an area in which David is deeply involved. As Jamaica’s Focal Point to the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, he has formulated and led several initiatives geared at developing an enabling framework within which the Jamaican Entertainment, Cultural and Creative Industries can thrive. These include, but are not limited to:
1. Preparation of a pioneering Act on the Entertainment Cultural and Creative Industries (ECCI’s);
2. Securing of funding through the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) to develop capacity to disaggregate information relating to the contribution of the ECCI’s to Jamaica’s GDP;
3. Facilitating the attendance of Jamaican Creatives (Naomi Cowan, Abijah and Toni-Ann Singh) to attend and participate in the World Music Expo (WOMEX) in Lisbon, Portugal in 2022;
4. Assisting with the formulation of the National Craft Policy;
5. Assisting with the review of the National Cultural Policy.