The Cayman National Cultural Foundation’s 15th Annual Arts and Cultural Awards took place Thursday night at the Harquail Theatre.
The event recognises those who have attained a level of merit in their artistic discipline; contributed to arts, culture and heritage in the Cayman Islands and supported the work of the Cultural Foundation.
Awards were presented for Artistic Endeavour, Artistic Achievement, Artistic Excellence, Cultural Heritage, Cultural Heritage Lifetime Achievement, Volunteer of the Year, Sponsor of the Year and the Chairman’s Award. In all, there were 13 recipients.
In addressing the awards ceremony audience, CNCF Artistic Director Henry Muttoo announced that the Cultural Foundation has shifted its focus from producing to facilitating arts and cultural projects.
‘We are gradually shifting from a ‘producing’ model which served us well to this point, to a ‘facilitating’ one, where artists with well articulated creative ideas can access funding and other resources to help realise their ideas,’
The Artistic Endeavour Award went to Vinnette Glidden and Charles Anderson. Vinette was rewarded for her work in fashion design and Charles for his work in art and sculpture. The Artistic Endeavour award is presented for significant potential for further development in a particular field.
Nasaria Suckoo Chollette and Rita Estevanovich were presented with the Artistic Achievement Award which is for outstanding originality, creative insight and/or artistic merit. Nasaria is head of drama at John Gray High School and was recognised for her work in art and art education. Rita was recognised for her acting ability, notably the several roles she played in Rundown 2007.
Jazz saxophonist Gary Ebanks received the Artistic Excellence Award. The award is presented to an artist for exceptional achievement in a particular field in the Cayman Islands. Gary has recorded and played with many local musicians. He leads several combos such as the Gary Ebanks Quartet, Gary Ebanks Trio, Intransit and the new group Triggerfish.
The Cultural Heritage Award, which is presented for the exploration, promotion or preservation of Caymanian cultural heritage went to three recipients: Debra Barnes-Tabora for the preservation of Caymanian culture and heritage through her work at the National Museum and in the community; the band Swanky for their preservation of Caymanian music, and Patricia Whittington who was awarded posthumously for chronicling the life and times of elderly North Side residents in her book ‘Back Then’.
The Cultural Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award, also known as the Radley Gourzong Award, went to businessman Linton Tibbetts. The award is for outstanding contribution to exploration, promotion or preservation of Caymanian cultural heritage by demonstrating a longstanding commitment to promoting, sustaining or further developing Caymanian artistic tradition. Linton Tibbetts built museums on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Linda Appelqvist for dedicated support of the foundation’s work during the last year. She volunteered for every CNCF event during that time.
Dart Realty was named Sponsor of the Year. The company not only sponsored Gimistory and the Cayfest Catboat Regatta but also hosted Gimistory at its new Camana Bay facility.
The Chairman’s Award which is presented for outstanding support of the work of the Cultural Foundation went to Alan Ebanks and Leroy Holness for their work acting in Rundown. In the 16 years that Rundown has been produced annually by CNCF, Alan Ebanks has been in every show and Leroy Holness has missed only one show.
The evening also included entertainment from local talent. Dance Unlimited presented a piece called ‘The Power of Goodbye’, which was choreographed by Lorna Reid and featured dancers Sherie Branch and Michael Edwards. UCCI music students Rachelle Parchment and Tanja Scott accompanied by Music Lecturer Glen Inanga on the piano gave a wonderful rendition of George Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’. There was also a reading of the winning Cayfest Literary Competition short story ‘Rupert’s Dream by Nasaria Suckoo Chollette and the second place poem ‘The Great and the Glorious’ by James M. Bodden III. The pieces were read by Rita Estevanovich and Pricilla Pouchie.
CNCF Director of Marketing Charles Glidden said: ‘The Arts and Cultural Awards play an important role in recognizing those persons and organizations that have achieved, excelled and supported the arts and culture in the Cayman Islands. In some cases the Arts and Cultural Awards single people whose good work or contribution may have otherwise gone heralded. It’s simply wonderful to see the expression of gratitude that the recipients have on their faces. ‘