Children’s art festival begins

Primary and secondary school students will put their talents on show during the 29th annual National Children’s Festival of the Arts, beginning with performing arts competitions on 12 April in Grand Cayman and 19 April in Cayman Brac.

Scheduled to run through 10 June, the festival promises a rich mix of visual, literary and performing arts.

“Every year the entries increase in number and performance standards continue to rise,” said Festival Coordinator Angela McLaughlin. “When the festival began in 1982 the primary emphasis was on encouraging students to express themselves in speech, music, drama and dance. That focus remains, but over the years we’ve added arts and crafts, a literary competition and new awards such as Better Futures.”

Residents can see Grand Cayman’s performing arts competitions in speech and drama at the Harquail Theatre from 12-15 April, and 18-19 April.

Music eliminations for senior students follow from 2-6 May and for infants, juniors and junior high students from 17-20 May at Church of God Chapel and Family Life Centre.

On 19 May the Amin Mohammed Memorial Steel Band Competition is scheduled to perform at 7pm in the Mary Miller Hall.

At 5pm on 25 May, the art and craft exhibition opens at the George Town Public Library.

Cayman Brac

Cayman Brac’s entrants will perform in their music, songwriting, speech, drama and dance competitions from 19-20 April.

Final concerts will be held in Cayman Brac on 7 May and in Grand Cayman from 30 May to 3 June.

The competition closes with the Butterfield Young Musician of the Year and National Children’s Festival of the Arts awards ceremonies are set for 4 and 10 June, respectively.

Festival coordinators are continuing the tradition of the Better Futures Award.

Entries for this category will have reflected the theme Pride in our Caymanian Heritage, and awards will be provided for the dance, speech, drama, music, arts and crafts, and literary competitions.

“We have achieved a lot over the years and our students’ performances have been judged excellent by both local and international standards,” Ms McLaughlin said. “We owe a great deal of credit for the strides that have been made towards cultural growth to the public and private school teachers and students who willingly participate every year.

“I trust that teachers and students will continue to involve themselves as they have in previous years. The NCFA has contributed greatly to the cultural life of the Islands and I hope that the next several years will be as fulfilling as the first 29,” she said.

Festival coordinators are still accepting entries for the literary competition. The deadline is Friday, 8 April. Entries for visual and performing arts contests have already closed.