Cultural Foundation announces grant recipients

Swanky Kitchen Band, Poinciana Festival, Nayil Arana and Karlie Lovinggood are all recipients of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation’s first round of grants for the arts this year. 

The foundation awards grants to individuals who are resident in the Cayman Islands and have been resident for the preceding 12 months, and for arts groups operating in the Cayman Islands. Grants for individuals range from $250 to $1,000. Grants to arts groups range from $500 to $3,000. 

Nayil Arana, 15, who has been playing violin for 10 years and the piano for eight years, plays regularly at Savannah United Church, Cayman Music School and with the Cayman Island Folk Singers. Nayil’s grant will enable him to attend the Luzerne Music Center’s Senior Session in New York this summer, an opportunity to improve his solo performances, chamber group performances and work with an orchestra, the Cultural Foundation said in a press release. 

The Poinciana Festival is a new three-day event celebrating film, music and art to showcase creative work in the Cayman Islands. Festival directors Badir Awe and Ronnie James Hughes have connections in the art and film scenes in Cayman. 

“Poinciana is grateful and inspired to receive support from an organization that has played such a central role in the nurturing of the Cayman arts scene,” said Mr. Awe said “We hope to create a valuable ongoing partnership with CNCF to supplement their work with ours as we assist in our common mission of developing the blossoming arts scene in the Cayman Islands.” 

Karlie Lovinggood is a young Caymanian who is involved in both theater and film. She will use her grant to attend the London Film Academy’s Screenwriting Foundation program in June to learn skills that will help further her career in writing for film and television. 

Swanky Kitchen Band received another grant to produce a live album with an expanded 10-person band. This third album aims to capture the dynamic live music experience which has endeared the Swanky Kitchen Band to local audiences by reviving traditional Caymanian songs as well as adding new songs to their catalogue. The album is also meant to help the band get bookings at international music festivals. 

Swanky Band leader Samuel Rose said, ”Swanky Kitchen Band feels honored to have received a grant from the CNCF for what will be our third music album.” 

Mr. Rose said the band remains committed to their mission of preserving Caymanian heritage through music and will continue to present traditional Caymanian songs. However, this time the project will feature more original music. The grant will help offset the costs associated with a recording project of this magnitude, Mr. Rose said, and all recording and mixing will be done in the Cayman Islands. 

CNCF is accepting applications for the September round of grants. Deadline for submissions is July 15. Grant guidelines and an application form are available at the Cayman National Cultural Foundation office. Contact 949-5477 or email [email protected]

Nayil Arana, 15, receives his grant from Virginia Foster of CNCF.