Six years ago, when Jennifer
Micallef and Glen Inanga said they wanted to create a music festival that would
bring renowned international artists to the Cayman Islands on a regular basis,
few probably took them seriously.
Given the lack of venues with
proper acoustics, the size of Cayman’s market, and the lack of a strong
tradition for the kind of music they wanted to bring, the idea seemed more of a
pipe dream than anything else. Above all, the idea didn’t seem economically
To their credit, Micallef and
Inanga have not only delivered on their dream, but their biennial Cayman Arts
Festival has surpassed expectations and helped broaden appreciation for music
of all types.
In its four festivals, the event
has brought highly acclaimed artists, great performances and even Cayman’s
first full-blown opera.
In addition to offering outstanding
performers from overseas, the festival has also always highlighted some of
Cayman’s own artistic talent. This year,
Cayman’s own Rita Estevanovitch performed in one show, and another whole
evening was dedicated to Cayman’s rising young musical stars.
The festival has also presented
shows in Cayman Brac in order to allow everyone in the Cayman Islands an
opportunity to enjoy the music.
One of the reasons the festival has
been able to survive is through the generous sponsorships of the private
sector, which has included the Caymanian Compass.
But the festival, and the artists
need support from the public as well.
This year, possibly because of the state of the economy, attendance has
been down at the events. We sincerely hope the organisers don’t take this as a
sign that we’ve lost interest.
The public has one more weekend to
take advantage of the wonderful Cayman Arts Festival. Rainer Hersch, who has
been described as the modern day Victor Borge, performs tonight. Saturday night
the Jamaican Immaculate Conception High School orchestra teams up with local
singers and instrument players to present a concert called Youth2Youth.
We thank Micallef and Inanga for
their unfailing dedication to the Cayman Arts Festival and for the wonderful
performances we have seen.