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Jamaica site brings the funk

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The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and the Downtown Jamaica Cultural District announced last week the launch of a new Web site promoting the neighborhood's culture and art. The site, jamaicafunk.org, showcases artwork, provides a calendar of community events and allows up-and-coming artists to connect with neighborhood promotional services."JamaicaFunk.org will, for the first time, promote the district's diverse entertainment offerings and also provide tools to nurture the success of arts groups, which will further enhance the environment for investment in downtown Jamaica," said Carlisle Towery, president of the GJDC in a statement.Artists can also network among themselves on the site, which went online on Feb. 13. Message boards were set up to have artists of all genres, including literature, dance, theater and music, chat about their projects.Towery encouraged young artists to visit the site and come down to Jamaica, which is set to undergo major changes as a result of a 368-block rezoning."A vibrant, energetic cultural district is an important component of every great downtown," he said.The DJCD was created in 2005 by the GJDC to promote southeastern Queens' underrepresented art scene. The organization was funded by a two-year, $150,000 grant from Deutsche Bank, which continues to support the initiative."We believe strongly that cultural activity and creative engagement are hallmarks of healthy communities," said Michael Hickey, vice president of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation in a statement. "We're pleased to support DJCD's efforts to increase the visibility and accessibility of local artists for the enjoyment and enrichment of all New York City."For more information on the Downtown Jamaica Cultural District, log on to jamaicafunk.org.Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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