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Gearing for CARIFESTA

L-r: Ms Lorna Reid of Cayman National Dance and CNCF, Ms Kaitlyn Elphinstone of NGCI, Culture Ministry Deputy Chief Officer, Mrs. Nancy Barnard, Premier and Culture Minister, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, Acting Policy Adviser for Culture, Ms Natasha Powell and Ms Patrice Beersingh of CNCF. Photo: Bina Mani, GIS

As they begin prep work for the next Caribbean Festival of the Arts (CARIFESTA), Culture Ministry officials presented mementoes and a report from the last event to the Premier and Minister of Culture, Hon. Alden McLaughlin at his office on Friday (22 January 2016).

Making the presentation were the Ministry's Deputy Chief Officer Nancy Barnard and Acting Policy Advisor for Culture Natasha Powell, Lorna Reid of Cayman National Dance who was also Head of Delegation, Patrice Beersingh from the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) and Kaitlyn Elphinstone from the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI).

Mrs. Nancy Barnard brings greetings on behalf of the Premier and Minister of Culture Hon. Alden McLaughlin at a 2015 CARIFESTA XII event, with Trinidadian writer Earl Lovelace (left) and painter LeRoy Clark.

Mrs. Barnard explained that the group's objective was both to report on the Cayman Islands delegation's activities at CARIFESTA XII held in Port au Prince, Haiti in 2015, and to look forward to attendance at the next event to be held in Barbados. She also thanked CNCF for that organisation's leadership of the delegation.

Artistic Director Mr. Henry Muttoo of CNCF noted: "CNCF has long held that Carifesta is one of the major unifying forces in our region. It celebrates and showcases the arts and culture of the Caribbean and its diaspora in a manner that no other festival does. It is a crucible of comradeship, education, creative experimentation and artistic excellence, out of which participating Caymanian artists will yet emerge to earn their place alongside the greats of the region and the world.

Ms Lorna Reid works on Cayman's mural at CARIFESTA XII.

"The value placed on the development of the arts and culture in some countries must be a revelation to us and I sincerely hope that, for Barbados 2017, the Cayman Islands will be in a position to fund a fully representative contingent comprising the very finest talent we have to share."

The presentation to the Premier consisted of a seminal book on Haitian art from the CARIFESTA Cayman exhibition's host Galerie Nader and a report about the delegation's activities at the event.

Ms Kaitlyn Elphinstone is all Caymankind smiles at CARIFESTA XII's Opening Parade.

Activities included lectures/talks from the Cayman Islands team that comprised: Mrs. Barnard, whose lecture was on locating the indigenous; Ms Reid, Ms Lorna Bush, also from CNCF, and Ms Elphinstone, whose lecture was on a history of Caymanian Art.

In addition to the two lectures, the Cayman Islands submitted 16 works of visual art at the event exhibition, including paintings from the National Museum by intuitive artist the late Gladwyn "Lassie" Bush; Harvey Ebanks, Harold Banks and Edney McLean as well as a documentary about Caymanian art by young director Ernest Jacob Olde.

Thanking the presenters, the Premier commented: "I am delighted that the Cayman Islands made a strong showing when they presented the nuances that are unique to our culture at the last CARIFESTA, and look forward to equally proficient presentations at the next one in August of 2017."


For further information contact: Bina Mani