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Culture/Heritage policy workshop

Workshop participants

Members of the committee that is leading work to create the Cayman Islands’ first National Cultural and Heritage Policy and Plan, along with other key stakeholders, took part in a workshop on 7 and 8 June 2016, led by visiting UNESCO-endorsed facilitator Deirdre Prins-Solani.

A cross section of stakeholders such as cultural institutions, cultural advocates and animators attended the workshop. There was also representation from various government agencies such as Department of Tourism, Economics and Statistics Office, and Planning Department.

During the two day process, participants created vison boards that represented what they believe the policy should encompass. They also broke into small groups to review each of the six situational analysis documents created by the Steering Committee’s focus groups to identify gaps in representation as well as priorities for the policy.

Ministerial Councillor for Culture Roy McTaggart noted: “Our three bountiful islands have evolved from what were, just fifty short years ago, referred to as ‘the islands time forgot’, to a bustling twenty first century leading global financial jurisdiction and tourist destination. Against the background of this rapid growth, it is important to safeguard the practices of cultural heritage that we hold dear, while forging ahead in our Islands' sustained development. I expect that the end products will be a policy and strategic plan that will be a result of islands-wide participation. The stakeholders represented at the initial workshop play a key role in culture and heritage by virtue of their institutional affiliations. However, I urge everyone to ensure that they take part in the policy development process."

Following the conclusion of the workshop, an open house was held on Wednesday 8 June at the Government Administration Building. The public was able to review work accomplished thus far, and provide feedback on the process.

This event also served as an opportunity for the public to meet and speak with the visiting cultural facilitator, the subcommittee chairs, and members of the Steering Committee. Members of the public unable to attend the open house can give input by participating in the Steering Committee’s survey at: before it closes on 30 June.

Reflecting on the workshop and open house, Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn of the Ministry of Culture commented, “We are so energised by this process. There was excellent communication between the groups represented, and some difficult but honest conversations took place that gave us such valuable viewpoints and showcased how many people are passionate about this process.”

Echoing the Chief Officer’s sentiments, workshop facilitator Deirdre Prins-Solani noted: “I was so fascinated with the conversations that were taking place. I’m here to support, but this process belongs to the Ministry, it belongs to the people of the Cayman Islands, because it’s about the way of life in the Cayman Islands.”

In addition to facilitating the workshop Ms. Prins-Solani also got some one-on-one interaction with young people in the Cayman Islands. She met with a small group of students from the University College of the Cayman Islands at a roundtable organised to hear their perspective on the cultural landscape of the Cayman Islands.

Earlier in the week Ms. Prins-Solani toured various cultural institutions such as the National Cultural Foundation, the National Gallery, the Mission House, Pedro St. James, the National Trust, Mind’s Eye and the George Town Library, and spoke with directors to learn about each institution and the challenges they face.

The Ministry of Culture will continue to meet with other groups to get more feedback which will inform the framework for the new policy and strategic plan. Following that a draft of the policy will be created. The final policy and plan is expected to roll out over a 10-year period, from 2017 to 2027.

Culture and Heritage Policy Workshop Participants

1. Jennifer Ahearn, Ministry of Culture

2. Nancy Barnard, Ministry of Culture

3. Natasha Powell, Ministry of Culture

4. Janett Flynn, Ministry of Culture

5. Neesah Godet, Ministry of Culture

6. Marcia Muttoo, Cayman National Cultural Foundation

7. Martyn Bould, Cayman National Cultural Foundation

8. Rita Estevanovich, Cayman National Cultural Foundation

9. Dr. Peggy Leshikar-Denton, Cayman Islands National Museum

10. Debra Barnes-Tabora , Cayman Islands National Museum

11. Anita Ebanks, Founding Director of Cayman Islands National Museum

12. Shenice McField, Cayman Islands National Museum

13. Natalie Urquhart , National Gallery of the Cayman Islands

14. Susan Olde, National Gallery of the Cayman Islands

15. Tamara Selzer, Cayman Islands National Archives

16. Heather R. McLaughlin, Archivist

17. Christina McTaggart-Pineda, National Trust for the Cayman

18. Andrew Gibb, National Trust for the Cayman Islands

19. Karie Bounds, National Trust for the Cayman Islands

20. Carla Reid, Tourism Attractions Board

21. Jerris Miller, Cayman Maritime Foundation/Cayman Catboat Club/Seafarer’s Association

22. Kiva Powell, Ministry of Education

23. Tonicia Williams, Legal Department

24. Ramona Melody, Director of Cayman Islands Public Library

25. Glen Inanga , Cayman Arts Festival

26. Donna Myrie, Batabano Cayman Carnival

27. Andrea Martinez-Calderon, Cultural Animator/Cayman Brac Representative

28. Pearlina McGaw-Lumsden, Allure Fashion

29. Luigi Moxam, Restaurateur/One Tree Four Five Owner

30. Reina Jefferson, Cultural Animator/Educator

31. Christopher Williams, Author/ UCCI Associate Professor

32. Lucille Seymour, Cultural Animator

33. James Geary, C.I.’s CARICOM Youth Ambassador

34. Michel Powery-Yin, Poet (Nosotros Group)

35. Chris Christian, Cayman Traditional Arts

36. Paul de Freitas, Cayman Drama Society

37. Edlyn Ruiz, Culture Information Officer (Government Information Services)

38. Gina Ebanks-Petrie, Department of Environment

39. Jessica Pawlik, Department of Tourism

40. Adolphus Laidlaw, Economics and Statistics Office

41. Charles Brown, Ministry of Planning

42. Sue Gibb, National Maritime Heritage Trail volunteer


For further information contact: Edlyn Ruiz