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27th MAC Conference

Ministerial Councillor for Culture Roy McTaggart delivers opening remarks.

The Museums Association of the Caribbean (MAC), 27th Annual General Meeting and Conference was held this week in Grand Cayman from 9 to 12 October 2016. The Ministry of Culture was the Platinum sponsor for the event.

More than 70 delegates from across the region, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada came to the island to enjoy a four-day conference packed with events, workshops and presentations that showcased Caymanian and regional art, culture, heritage and history.

The theme for this year’s conference was The Essential Museum – Redefining the role of cultural and heritage sector for the 21st Century audiences.

The annual event kicked off on Sunday with a Culture and Heritage Tour of some of Grand Cayman’s greatest landmarks, and continued through the night with An Evening of Art at the National Gallery, which hosted this year’s event.

Many guests enjoyed a private after-hours tour of the gallery and a chance to view the National Art Collection, and the latest temporary exhibition Speak to Me: Understanding the Language of Art.

The welcome ceremony on Monday morning formally opened the conference with presentations by Ministerial Councillor for Culture, Roy McTaggart, Museums Association of the Caribbean President Dr Sherene James-Williamson and National Gallery of the Cayman Islands Chairperson Susan Olde.

Keynote panellists included; Natalie Urquhart, Director of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands; Amanda Coulson, Director of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and Dr Veerle Poupeye, Executive Director of the National Gallery of Jamaica.

“I believe having these types of creative minds come together to discuss how museums can define and demonstrate their public value in today’s modern age, and come up with appealing ways to adapt physical spaces for an ever-growing digital society, is a vital part of preserving our region’s history,” said the Premier and Minister for Culture, Hon. Alden McLaughlin.

A presentation was made by Deputy Chief Officer Nancy Barnard on the progress being made on the first national policy and strategic plan for culture and heritage in the Cayman Islands.

The event Looky Ya! was held at the Cayman Islands National Museum on Monday night. The sound of traditional folk music, creative storytelling and the smell of local cuisine drew a large crowd to the museum’s courtyard.

MAC conference participants and locals experienced a presentation that showcased a performance by the Cayman Islands Folk Singers; poetry by Twyla Vargas, storytelling by author Virginia “Auntie V” Foster, entertainment from the Dance Trio and live music from the Swanky Kitchen Band.

The event also featured artisans from various districts around the island, who sold their local arts and crafts throughout the night. Museum guests enjoyed a tour of the building to view the various exhibits on display.

The agenda also included a reception at Government House, hosted by Her Excellency the Governor Helen Kilpatrick on Tuesday night.

For further information contact: Jamie Hicks