Volunteers make their mark

From camaraderie and meeting new people to learning new skills and imparting island traditions, the reasons people volunteer with the Cayman National Cultural Foundation are many and varied.

With a stable of more than 100 active volunteers, the CNCF attracts people of all ages and walks of life who are committed to supporting and promoting local arts and culture.

“It is rewarding to me to do something that is fun and enjoyable and, at the same time, be able to pass on some knowledge of local arts and music – especially at functions where there might be visitors to the island,” says long-time volunteer Nidie Eden, who has donated her time and talents to everything from Gimistory and Red Sky at Night to promoting Miss Lassie’s house.

“I enjoy the plays and storytelling, and I always see people that I have not seen in a while.”

Hazel Brown, another long-time volunteer, says it is rewarding being involved with the non-profit organization.

“I value the contribution that CNCF makes to the arts in Cayman and I wanted to support that,” she says. “I also enjoy the interaction with the public and other volunteers.”

That’s also a top draw for volunteer Audrey Gayle, a teacher who moved to Cayman in 2007.

“I enjoy the camaraderie that exists at CNCF. We are a small extended family that is united by our love of preserving the arts and cultural traditions here in Cayman,” she says. “I feel welcomed, valued and included in this “family unit” and know that my services are appreciated.”

The British national joined CNCF when she first moved here.

“As a new person to the island I wanted to understand the community that I teach, work and reside in,” she says.

Caymanian Henry Hill began volunteering with CNCF when he was 14. Three years later, at 17, he’s still going strong.

“I decided to volunteer because I have always enjoyed the programs that CNCF has created and respected them for the quality of work they produce,” he says.
He’s been involved in such programs as the Summer Arts Camp and Red Sky at Night, and currently volunteers at the CNFC office. He has also assisted with various stage productions, working in such areas as sound, lighting and stage managing.

“Working with the staff at the CNCF is probably the most enjoyable part of volunteering,” he says. “You meet some unique people and form networks that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. I’ve learned so much about the theatre and gained so many friends, I couldn’t ask for a better reward.”

CNCF’s Marketing and Development Specialist Tracie Watler says volunteers are vital to the organization.

“As a small non-profit organization, volunteers are such an important part of the events and programs we put on,” she says. “We have a small team of core staff but a lot of planning and work goes into putting on a play, festival or education program.

“Volunteers help us on all different levels, whether it is in the office, selling tickets, bartending in the theatre or helping set up for an event,” says Tracie. “We are truly thankful for all their help and contribution.”



Volunteer Henry Hill with Aunt Julia Hydes.