Why is our culture important?
In my business life as well as my cultural endeavors I feel in a small community we need to look outside our shores to reflect on others experiences and how they have been impacted and what we can learn from their experiences.
During the past 30 years, I have attended many cultural celebrations, seminars and gatherings, both regionally and globally, where I have both witnessed and debated cultural diversity and its importance in society.
So with cultural diversity, “strangeness” versus “difference” can result in opposite outcomes – strangeness can invite curiosity and engagement whereas difference can postpone engagement and lead to conflict.
So, my friends, our culture is integral to our own development, and for the past 30 years CNCF, admirably supported by our government and with the efforts of our hardworking and dedicated staff, volunteers and the contribution of our board, has carried out its mission of stimulating, facilitating and preserving artistic expression generally, particularly the preservation and exploration of Caymanian performing, visual and literary arts.
The results: Our youth learn about themselves through our culture. I have been privileged to travel to many Carifestas with our artists where they express Caymanian culture in an environment shared with numerous other cultures from around the Caribbean.
We always have a rap session where we discuss what our ambassadors have learned from the experiences on their trip. One response that comes up time and time again is “We now know what it is to be Caymanian.”
Whilst CNCF’s name has always been linked with the Harquail Theatre, its work is obviously much broader than just the performing arts.
Currently one of our most important and critical projects is the preservation of Miss Lassie’s house, for which we have assembled a talented team of dedicated individuals to make sure this iconic treasure remains for future generations of both visitors and locals to cherish and enjoy. We recently held a dedication plaque unveiling, showing the bipartisan support across our community for this landmark project.
We take very seriously the responsibility of ensuring the development of our culture as an essential component of social stability.
We look forward to celebrating our 30th anniversary and to many, many more.