CharityDrive: Keeping arts alive

The Cayman National Cultural Foundation, whose mission is to stimulate, facilitate and preserve artistic and cultural expression, was delighted to be selected as the beneficiary of the CharityDrive for today, 17 April. 

The CharityDrive is at the Island Heritage Roundabout on Esterly-Tibbetts Highway near the Ritz-Carlton. 

As champions of Caymanian cultural heritage, the not-for-profit organisation encourages artistic expression in all forms, be it visual, performing or literary, and organises a variety of theatrical, musical and educational events throughout the year. 

Worldwide, the arts tend to struggle to acquire the funding they need and with so many worthwhile charities operating in Cayman, said Kaitlyn Elphinstone, marketing and programmes officer, securing funding is becoming increasingly competitive. The news that CNCF had been selected as one of the beneficiaries of the CharityDrive was therefore extremely welcome.  

The organisation plans to channel the funds from the CharityDrive into its Youth Programming, with the online photo competition, the summer camp and the Young Image Makers competition specifically identified to benefit from the additional funding.  

Although the Online Photo Competition has closed for 2013, funds will go toward developing the site for the 2014 competition, said Ms Elphinstone, with the aim of involving more young people.  

For the first time this year, a youth competition was added, for photographers aged 17 and younger. In 2014 they hope to be able to promote the youth category better and encourage more young people to experiment with this medium. “Photography is something everyone can get involved in and as this is an online competition, it means that photographers in the Sister Islands can also enter,” said Ms Elphinstone. “It’s free to enter and photographs can be taken with Blackberrys or smart phones, which many people already have, so it makes it a fun way to get involved in the arts without incurring too many costs.” 

Funds will also enable the CNCF to continue to subsidise its summer camp, keeping fees as low as possible. The camp, which runs from 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday for two weeks in August, is open to children aged seven to 16. During the two-week arts camp they will practice drama, storytelling, music, dance and traditional crafts.  

The donation from Island Heritage will enable CNCF to offer the two week camp at a subsidised rate of $170 per child, making the arts accessible to more families. Camp food and an off site field trip is included in the fee, and further fee reductions will also be available to larger families. 

The Young Image Makers Competition, run in partnership with the Department of Tourism, invites students aged 10 to 17 to submit their funniest, scariest or most thought-provoking short films for consideration. Following film making workshops and three rounds of the competition, two finalists will be selected for the grand prize: They will be sent to the New York Film Academy for a film course.  

Proceeds from the CharityDrive have also been earmarked to go toward the costs of this exceptional prize.  

Almost 30 volunteers will be helping CNCF to encourage drivers to keep the dollars racking up. CNCF will be opening up their costume collection to the volunteers, so expect some unusual slights on the road between 7am and 7pm on 
17 April. 

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