Goodbye 2012, hello 2013

As is somewhat customary on occasions such as this, Weekender asked selected people to give us a quick overview of 2012 and to look forward into the New Year. 

 

Henry Muttoo 

Cayman National Cultural Foundation 

What was the biggest achievement of 2012?  

Difficult to say. The WMF listing was important but even if that did not come, Cayman National Cultural Foundation would have gone ahead with the work at Mind’s Eye because we know it was/is important to us and the country. I would say, Cayman National Cultural Foundation actually managing to complete conservation of the entire Mind’s Eye property – especially stabilising the main wattle & daub house, Miss Lassie’s original doors, windows and murals which would have been lost by this time, had immediate action not been taken. It was comforting to know that people could once again stand in the house, almost as it was in 1993, feel the spirit of Miss Lassie in the cool breeze blowing in through the open windows and doors, and watch the satisfied faces of visitors as we told her story. For this we must thank all of the wonderful volunteers and contributors, as well as Mr. Kurt Tibbetts who, as Leader of Government Business at the time, was instrumental in Government’s purchase of the property, and the Premier Mckeeva Bush who assisted CNCF throughout our 20 year association with Miss Lassie.  

 

What challenges did you face? 

Mainly funding, skilled local expertise and the ‘buy in’ (generally) from a culturally apathetic community.  

 

What are your hopes and plans for 2013? 

To continue to work as diligently as possible and double our efforts – if that is at all possible – to fulfil our mission to “stimulate, develop, preserve and celebrate the arts and culture – particularly the stimulation, development, preservation and celebration of Cayman artistic and cultural expression.”  

 

 

Lady Rabia 

Author, IP Creator, Illustrator, Speaker, Patron Big Draw KY 

What was the biggest achievement of 2012?  

I had three great achievements this year. 

One of my greatest achievements for 2012 was being the Patron for the Big Draw KY, which is part of the international Campaign for Drawing. It was very rewarding to engage kids and adults in art through this innovative initiative. I now intend to develop this month-long drawing festival in October as another attraction for the Islands. In fact, I have already discussed this with prospective partners and sponsors who are equally excited about the economic potential it could provide during the typically low season.  

Another great achievement this year was participating in Gimistory with the Cayman National Cultural Foundation. I’ve always dreamed of participating and it was a phenomenal experience. The live audience reaction of hysterics to my stories was truly fulfilling and I loved being on stage. Gimistory was also a wonderful experience for my children. The fish frying against the spectacular backdrops of sea and sand brought to life the stories they had grown up listening to and I know they have a treasure trove of memories from Gimistory. 

My third greatest achievement this year is the release of the fourth Kaa Kaa & Tokyo book – but it’s not just another book – it’s my first audio book. Kaa Kaa & Tokyo’s Mad Cap, Ole Time, Caymanian Christmas is warmly nostalgic, ridiculously funny and wildly entertaining.  

 

What challenges did you face? 

Finding time to do all my projects is a great challenge. As a single mother of six, who works full time, juggling it all is an exceptional challenge. Finding funding for my projects is another challenge. However, I try not to focus on the challenges. I don’t use them as excuses. I focus on finding creative ways to turn challenges into opportunities. I am very organised, I don’t watch a lot of TV and I don’t need a lot of sleep – I try to use time and funds wisely. And I am exceptionally determined. I’m going up the mountain, under the mountain or through it.  

 

What are your hopes and plans for 2013? 

With God’s help, we are hoping for an unprecedented successful year: 

Kaa Kaa & Tokyo are going global and will be available in a few days on Amazon and other online stores. They will also be adapted for other media platforms like Kindle e-books and audio books. This year Kaa Kaa & Tokyo will also be Cayman’s first Tourism (Character) Ambassadors as they tour the US during Caribbean American month in June. Further, we are striving to have Kaa Kaa & Tokyo’s first large-scale theatrical musical, merchandise and consumer products launch next year as well. And of course, everyone can look forward to more hilarious stories from the zany duo. Kaa Kaa & Tokyo Mysteries will be launched this coming year and I think kids should have a special K & T treat at Halloween, but I’m keeping that one quiet. 

 

Noel Smith 

Nolly Brown Entertainment 

What was the biggest achievement of 2012?  

I would have to say that my biggest achievement for 2012 would have to be moving my company Nolly Brown Entertainment to a bigger and higher level. We are now considered an international entertainment company. 

 

What challenges did you face? 

Challenges for 2012 was the hardest I have ever faced, Sponsorship for keeping our shows “Young talented Stars for kids ages 6 to 16 and Cayman’s Got Talent Ages 17 and up” have been very difficult. Our shows have always been a nonprofit and we have always relied on sponsorship to keep them alive. We are very grateful to the companies that support our cause each year, but it’s still not enough. But with the grace and help of God we always manage to pull through each year. I feel that we have so many talented young Caymanians that just need a change to express then self’s in a positive way here in Cayman. I feel that we as Caymanians need to support our local events for our kids. Even if we are unable to get the companies to sponsor us if the committee would come out and support us this could make a big difference in many ways. 

 

What are your hopes and plans for 2013? 

For the coming year 2013 I have a lot of goals set, not only for my company but for my personal self. For Nolly Brown Entertainment we are going to work much harder in 2013 to take some of our winners from both shows to perform internationally. I am also look to bring out a music CD in 2013 and also going to audition for a place on The X-Factor in the UK. It has always been my dream to sing in front of thousands of people giving it my all and representing my country. I have done so many positive things here in Cayman and looking forward to continue to do so God and with the public support. 

 

Shane Aquart
Dready dude 

What was the biggest achievement of 2012? 

I get these messages from people regularly. A recent one said “Thanks Shane. I have to tell you … I really love your artwork. I smile everyday that I see something new. Thank you.” – that’s a pretty big achievement. 

 

What challenges did you face? 

There’s the always the hurdle of trying to overcome the state of the economy at the moment – but the greatest challenge has been trying to lay the foundation for the way forward. 

 

What are your hopes and plans for 2013? 

The first plan for 2013 is to get the dreadyworld web-site properly functional and ready to sell stuff and t’ings. 

 

Basia McGuire 

National Trust of the Cayman Islands 

What was the biggest achievement of 2012? 

The Little Cayman land acquisition (Cayman Islands Rock Iguana nesting site) followed closely by the downlisting of the Blue Iguanas from Critically Endangered to Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

 

What challenges did you face? 

Funding cuts was the biggest one! 

 

What are your hopes and plans for 2013? 

Looking forward to developing our tourism products and officially launching our 10 x 20 Challenge to have 10 per cent of Cayman’s land mass protected by 2020. 

 

Richard Johnson
Cayman Drama Society 

What was the biggest achievement of 2012? 

I feel it is tough to single any one thing out as the Drama Society achieved so much from the quality of performances to our involvement in the community, from increasing the use of the theatre and making it a multifunctional facility to becoming a more inclusive & diverse society and having a greater connection with our membership & patrons, or from the reorganisation of our props and costumes to the upgrade of our sound systems. We have therefore achieved so much and it is unfair to point to one single thing or one single person so you could say having such an engaged committee and membership is maybe the biggest achievement. 

 

What challenges did you face? 

I think the biggest challenge we faced was the late cancellation of one of our scheduled performances and having to find a suitable replacement at short notice that was quick to put together (casting and rehearsals) and which would be enjoyable for audiences. Thankfully we were able to exceed even our own expectations! 

 

What are your hopes and plans for 2013? 

Our hopes for 2013 are to build upon where we are now. We have a full calendar of performances scheduled for 2013 and we hope to maintain the quality of performances on stage while continuing to enhance the audience experience and make the Prospect Playhouse a place where our patrons enjoy spending their free time. 

 

Stinky 

Dolphin 

What was the biggest achievement of 2012? 

eeeeee click click ooeeoee click splosh ee e eeee 

 

What challenges did you face? 

sweeesw eeo uuu click ckckckckc ee seeeoeoooeeee 

 

What are your hopes and plans for 2013? 

click!!! clickeeeoeeeee e e e ee u uuueeeeuuu click eee td tddt splash  

 

Justine Riseley
Cayman Islands Humane Society Volunteer 

What was the biggest achievement of 2012?  

Overall, our biggest achievement is to have kept the shelter running during very hard economic times when there are less funds to be found and with an increase in the number of surrendered and lost animals. We have had many other achievements throughout the year with animal adoptions and transfers overseas (sending over 60 dogs and puppies to Pets Alive in New York State), an increase in sales at our Book and Thrift Shops and some new and exciting fundraisers such as the Walk & Wag, our monthly quiz nights at Fidel Murphy’s and our new Fashion Show at Camana Bay – all of which we hope to build on for 2013. We have also secured the support and involvement from a couple of local companies who are committing to help us for 2013. We also managed to create a new Donate Online feature on our website where people can make one off and monthly donations without having to go to the shelter. 

 

What challenges did you face?  

One of our biggest challenges was when the shelter flooded in heavy rains in May and we had to evacuate over 200 animals from the shelter. It was a very trying time for everyone but it ended up demonstrating just how well the Cayman community pulls together in a crisis. As soon as our plea went out, people came from all over to offer whatever assistance they could – fostering animals, helping to bail out water, making sandbags and once the water subsided, helping tidy up. We even managed to find permanent homes for a few of our animals. In the days after the flood, we continued to gain support from individuals, companies and community groups offering replacement equipment, funding and personnel to help get us back up and running. While it was a huge challenge and something we don’t want to repeat it showed the extent of the generosity of our community. The challenge here is that we do not have a proper, purpose-built facility. The shelter sits on very low lying ground and every time we get heavy rains, we fear flooding over and over. We desperately need a new facility in high ground so we don’t have to face this worry every hurricane season but we lack the funds to purchase any land. 

We do still face a number of challenges in 2013. We still have a high population of animals at the shelter and so we need to continue to extend our foster, adoption and transfer programmes. We also want to do more to address this issue at grass roots level by extending our spay and neuter programme and increasing our efforts to educate the public about how important spaying and neutering is. Our current facility also requires some urgent attention so we have work to do there too to ensure it is fit for purpose. Our positive plans for 2013 include trying to reach out to more volunteers to help us and conducting orientations especially for new dog walkers.  

 

What are your hopes and plans for 2013? 

As always our hopes are to continue to provide shelter and care to as many animals as we can. We thank all those who have supported us in 2012 including the staff, our volunteers and the community as a whole and we hope that we can build on this support for 2013. 

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