Young members of the community displayed their talents in everything from poetry to painting during the 14th annual Talent Exposition of the Arts at the Harquail Theatre on Sunday night.
Emcees for the evening were Catherine Tyson of the “Lighten Up” show, Andrel Harris of Cayman 27, and newcomer Loshana Lopez Francis. Profits from the show will go towards the George Town Primary Performing Arts Centre.
Cheyenna Stewart, president of the Parent Teacher Association at George Town Primary School, said that she was grateful for the donation the school would be receiving.
“The arts center will be built in the style of the modern black box theater,” Stewart said. “It will allow children of a very early age to develop their talents. It will also give opportunities to students who may not be able to afford them otherwise.” The center is expected to break ground later this summer.
Lloyd Barker, one of the show’s long-time performers, stressed that events like this are crucial for Cayman. “[The show] facilitates a type of community support, and it gets young people and even adults involved in a positive initiative.”
Mr. Barker, a student at Carleton University in Ontario, says that he looks forward to performing in the show every year, and sees it as a contributor to his success today.
“I can’t forget where I started and the type of support I got from the beginning,” Mr. Barker said. “I just have to continue to give thanks for that and be grateful.”
Other performers included Lebron McLean, Ericka Rockett McBean, KRI Performing Arts School, Rico Ronaldo, Kashekia Daley, and Abygail Onfroy. Many others also displayed their talents in the form of dance, song, poetry, and more.
The University College of the Cayman Islands had six acts in the exposition. The university’s artistic director of performing arts, Monika Lawrence, said she was glad to have such a diverse representation of the arts coming from her school. “The problem with the arts is that people tend to think that if you cannot do something else, then you do the arts,” Lawrence said. “What the arts actually do is enhance your learning process and teach discipline.”
The event is presented annually by The New Self-Help Community Foundation, an initiative started by JC Connor. The foundation also offers various arts and skill-based workshops, and aims to sponsor one community project through the talent show each year.
Connor said that he has noticed an increase in the level of creativity and talent on display throughout the years. “Tonight I saw something really unbelievable in the talent we had here. The power of thinking differently was clearly demonstrated, and I have seen many imaginations transform into reality.”