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Meet Kingston Creative Founders

Meet Andrea Dempster-Chung, Allan Daisley and Jennifer Bailey

Who conceived Kingston Creative and what were their motivations?
Kingston Creative was conceived by Andrea Dempster Chung, Allan Daisley and Jennifer Bailey in February 2017. The motivation was to grow Jamaica’s creative economy by empowering creative people, transforming Downtown Kingston and creating a vibrant Art District.  

All three co-founders have Jamaican heritage and were living in the Diaspora when the concept came together.  As many Jamaicans do, they wanted to give back and find a way to contribute to the nation’s development.  The path that they saw was empowering the talented people in Jamaica and leveraging a globally recognised culture to grow the economy and directly benefit the people that create the culture.

 There was a common recognition that Jamaica was “way too talented to be poor” and so the goal was to play to our strengths, unlock the creative potential in people and place and make the old city of Downtown Kingston, which many see as the birthplace of Jamaican culture, into a more safe, creative, liveable space in the process.

How did you find each other?
All three co-founders of Kingston Creative attended the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and all studied business and technical fields: civil-structural engineering, computer engineering and operations management.  

When Andrea had the idea, she reached out to the people in her network. Allan and Jennifer were schoolmates that had Jamaican heritage and had also been working on developing entrepreneurs in the region. Together they clarified the vision and mission and kicked off the movement that today is Kingston Creative.

Tell us a little about the background of the founders
Andrea is an engineer, entrepreneur and executive. She is the Cofounder and Managing Director of Kingston Creative an organisation seeking to transform Downtown; the founder of Bookophilia, a bookstore that promotes Caribbean literature.

She recently managed the Arts portfolio for the British Council where she developed strategy and implemented key projects in film, literature and visual art to build capacity and drive the creative economy in Jamaica.

Andrea holds a Master of Science in Structural Engineering, a Prince2 Certification in Project Management and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. She has also studied Art and Finance at the Sotheby’s School of Art in London and Finance at the Stanford School of Business in California.
Allan is a venture builder, entrepreneur and investor with a passion for building new businesses. He is the former Managing Director of Startupbootcamp Digital Health accelerator in Miami, a program that helps high growth potential startups bring impactful technologies to healthcare stakeholders.
Allan formerly co-founded and ran the ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator, a nationally ranked program for the commercialization of medical technologies.  He also co-founded 2 software startups and leveraged those experiences as an economic development consultant driving entrepreneurship-focused projects globally in developing regions.

Allan holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Jennifer is an Assistant Professor of Innovation & Operations Management. Her expertise is in innovation management, entrepreneurship and operations management. Jennifer is the Faculty Advisor for Babson’s Technology, Entrepreneurship and Design concentration.

She holds a B.S.E in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and received her MBA and Ph.D. in Operations Management from Georgia Tech.

Throughout her time in Jamaica and the US, she has always enjoyed volunteering and participating in organizations and activities centered about the performing arts and Caribbean culture including various activities, such as ASHE Performing Arts Ensemble in Jamaica.
Currently Jennifer is the Academic Director for the iCreate Institute in Kingston, Jamaica and also serves as a Board Member with the non-profit, Arts Connect International (ACI) in Boston, Massachusetts.
 It has been 3 years since Kingston Creative was established. Who has continued to be part of Kingston Creative and what are their roles?
Of the original co-founders, Allan and Andrea are still an active part of Kingston Creative, serving as Chairman of the Board and Executive Director respectively. In 2018, Doris Gross, Gillian Mullings and Kim Marie Spence joined the Board.   

Doris’ passion is architecture and she manages the development of the Art District. Gillian is an attorney and looks after the Legal area of the charity. Kim-Marie is an author, academic and the resident cultural and creative economy expert, who develops the strategy for the organisation.
The team now has added an eight-person Global Advisory Board with experts from around the Diaspora including Amanda Haynes, Karelle Dixon, Suwannee Caine, Novia McDonald Whyte, Annalee Davis, Howard Mitchell, Peter Goldson and David Mullings.

What recognition/awards have Kingston Creative and its founders gained as a result of pursuing your bold vision?
In 2020 Kingston Creative was the recipient of the RJR Gleaner National Honours Award for Arts & Culture, and we were pleased to receive that recognition. Co-Founder Andrea Chung says, “The work is its own reward. As we see 59 new murals going up around the city, or thousands trained in workshops, or a new Creative Hub and Artisan Shop open in Downtown we can see that we are making a tangible difference.  It is so good to see creatives using the spaces and platforms, accessing the training, and earning money from the art projects.”  

The recognition also comes from Kingston Creative’s peers, arts organisations and groups working for a healthy creative ecosystem.
“Kingston Creative has been a gem in fostering collaborations across Jamaica’s creative fields building a steady stream of supporters via events such industry talk sessions, historical tours, artisan showcases, etc. As founder of the advocacy network, Dancers of Jamaica, I remain encouraged by their responsiveness during the pandemic, in finding ways to support the artistic community through grants, online short courses and virtual events.” - Maria Hitchins, Founder Dance Jamaica

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September 2020