Cultural grants announced

From left, managing director of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation Marcia Muttoo with 'Tripping Through' director Malcolm Ellis and screenplay writer Michelle Morgan.

An a capella group, a music therapy program, a writer, moviemakers and a school string ensemble have received grants for the arts from the Cayman National Cultural Foundation.

Martin Keeley, author of 'Marvelous Mangroves,' with Cayman National Cultural Foundation's Marcia Muttoo.
Martin Keeley, author of ‘Marvelous Mangroves,’ with Cayman National Cultural Foundation’s Marcia Muttoo.

Following a review by the foundation’s grant committee in March, filmmakers of “Tripping Through,” Caribbean Haven’s music therapy program, a capella group the Singrays, Martin Keeley’s book the “Marvelous Mangroves” and the George Town Primary string ensemble program are the latest art projects to receive grants.

Based on the novel of the same name, “Tripping Through” is a romantic comedy produced, filmed and directed in the Cayman Islands by Malcolm Ellis. The film’s screenplay was written by Michelle Morgan, who also portrayed Karly, the lead character.

“We were constantly amazed by the amount of community interest and support we encountered,” Ms. Morgan said in a press release.

“There was no initial funding for the film, and we wouldn’t have been able to complete it without in-kind support from the Cayman acting and TV/film community, as well as local businesses that let us film at their locations,” said Mr. Ellis.

“And now with this financial support from CNCF,” he added, “we’ll be able to maximize our exposure both locally and internationally.”

The duo said the grant will help them obtain more local exposure, and they hope to submit their film to international film festivals.

Kimberly Ferbes, a residential counselor at Caribbean Haven, said the center is appreciative of the grant.

“Since music is already a significant part of our Caymanian communities, using this medium in the therapeutic and healing process supports the clients’ personal growth in a creative way,” she said.

She added that the foundation’s grant will allow the facility to continue offering innovative treatment programs to clients.

Founding member of the Singrays, Nicholas Dixey, said the funds will enable the group to buy sound equipment and “to perform at new venues where we can reach more of the community with music.”

The a capella group performs a variety of music styles, from classical to modern.

For the past 17 years, Martin Keeley has traveled extensively, delivering the Marvelous Mangroves education program, which has been translated and adapted by 13 countries.

Mr. Keeley, education director of the Mangrove Action Project, said the grant will enable him to publish the “Marvelous Mangroves” book.

Stories will be illustrated by Daniella Christian, a Cayman Brac student, and will be made available locally and internationally through the Mangrove Action Project.

The string ensemble program at George Town Primary School also stated its appreciation for the grant.

Cheyenna Stewart, president of George Town Primary’s Parent Teacher Association, said, “This grant will further the success of the students in the string ensemble.”

The Cayman National Cultural Foundation is accepting grant applications through July 15. Cayman residents and art groups are invited to apply. Grants will be announced in September. For grant guidelines, forms and information, contact [email protected] or call 949-5477.