April is Cayfest and there is even more to look forward to this year with several new events showcasing the diverse and colourful arts and cultural scene of the Cayman Islands, a press release from the organisers said.
In planning this year’s events the Cayman National Cultural Foundation says it wanted to ensure that it had as many outlets for community participation as possible. The response, not just from individuals, but dedicated organizations, companies and community groups has, they say, been thrilling.
‘Cayfest is not just about the work of the Cultural Foundation, it is a celebration of all the work produced in the Cayman Islands, by many different people as we find the way to express and represent our past, present and future growth.’ says CNCF director of marketing and public education, Roberta Bostock.
More and more community groups have been involved in this significant arts festival.
Artistic director of the CNCF, Henry Muttoo, said: ‘In the context of modern Caymanian Society it is important that we do not wilfully omit what is useful in the new cultural manifestations which, every day, are changing the cultural dynamic of the Cayman Islands.
‘We ignore at our peril, those responses to the act of being, devised by our forbears and ritualized into a tangible heritage of which we are justly proud.
‘This heritage must be guarded, treasured and celebrated by all Caymanians who are its benefactors, adopted by those who now call the Cayman Islands their home and are respected by those who live among us.
‘It is upon this heritage that we must build our living Caymanian culture which will define us as a people. Cayfest gives everyone in our community an equal opportunity to revitalize and celebrate our culture and the arts.’
Cayfest this year raised its curtain with Bracfest which opened last Saturdwith Rundown being performed at the Aston Rutty Civic Centre in Cayman Brac.
This Saturday, Brackers can also look forward to a day of arts and culture, featuring displays, local food, craft, rope laying, old time games and kite making workshops.
Granny Brac Yard was also this year filmed, as the name suggests, in Cayman Brac with knowledgeable residents talking about days gone by. The programme will air later in the month on CITN and a radio broadcast has also been scheduled.
All events are free to attend.
Art Exhibition & Sale (Thursday, 20 April to Saturday, 29 April.)
Hosted by the National Gallery, local artists showcase their originality in a range of artistic genres, from folk to contemporary. Everyone is welcome to the exhibition opening on April 20th at 7pm. Refreshments will be available and the public will have an opportunity to view and purchase the best of Cayfest’s art submissions, as well as see the winners of the Photography Exhibition (see below). For those who are unable to make the opening, the exhibition will be open until Saturday, 29 April during normal gallery hours. The Art Exhibition will also showcase the winning images from the Cayfest Photography Competition.
(Saturday, 22 April, at the Westin Casuarina, Governor’s Ballroom, 9 am to 3pm.)
Cayfest Culture 360 is a new concept that will showcase the vibrant flavour, sights and sound of things Caymanian. All cultural organisations, district associations and artists/entertainers have been invited to illustrate the richness and diversity of the Islands’ culture. District associations will also have exhibits that go beyond static display to show off Cayman’s rich heritage.
There will be performances throughout the day – music, dance, poetry reading, storytelling and drama. While much of the entertainment will be scheduled there will also be time for budding performers to take the stage at an open mike.
Culture 360 goes full circle to encompass Cayman’s arts and culture. Confirmed performers include Dance Unlimited, Swanky, Intransit, NCFA, National Choir, National Orchestra, Cayman Drama Society, Barnes Dance, Leonard Dilbert, John Gray High School and Back Yard Caboose Theatre Company.
Winners from Cayfest’s Literary Competition – Poetry & Short Stories will also be on display and read throughout the day.
(Saturday, 22 April, Government House, Seven Mile Beach, from 7pm.)
Churches from around the island come together for an evening of music and thanksgiving at the Governor’s home. Kindly hosted by His Excellency, Governor Stuart Jack and Mrs. Jack.
Café Cayman and Chalkfest – Ol’ Time Family Fair Day
(Sunday, 23 April, at the Tree House, 1pm to 5pm.)
Ol’ Time Family Fair Day is collaboration between the Cayman National Cultural Foundation and Cayman Traditional Arts. The day promises to be a glimpse back into yesteryear, with traditional games such as marbles, gig spinning, kite flying, miniature-catboat races, jacks, cricket and Chinese skipping rope.
This event also incorporates Café Cayman, which means that food and crafts not only will be displayed but will be on sale.
Chalkfest, another popular event, is being linked with Ol’ Time Family Fair Day this year. While Chalkfest is a CNCF signature event it falls under the direction of the National Gallery.
Artists of all ages can create beautiful drawings on the pavement using pastel chalks.
Traditional singing kites made by children from Cayfest’s free Singing Kite Workshops (sponsored by several local companies and facilitated by Cayman Traditional Arts ), will also be on display and judged for their flying abilities and craftsmanship.
Cayfest Caboose TV Broadcast
(Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 24-26 and 28 April.)
Popular Caymanian delicacies like turtle hash, rice and beans, breadfruit salad, fish Cayman style and bull rush porridge will be prepared by local chefs and it will all be televised on CITN’s morning show, Daybreak.