Heritage Arts program wraps up

East End Primary School students showcase artwork they created through the Heritage Arts program at The Ritz-Carlton.

More than 400 certificates and 15 trophies were awarded to Year 6 students who completed the Heritage Arts Program over the past 10 months.

This school year, 447 government school students participated in the program each month – 1,700 youths from private and government schools in all, Cayman Traditional Arts said in a press release.

Created by Cayman Traditional Arts, the Heritage Arts program endeavors to expose young students to Caymanian traditions in art, culture and heritage.

Program Director Chris Christian said in the release, “The experience of our instructors is deep-rooted. Whether they are explaining how to construct a calavan, instructing on the art of archery, or helping students prepare fritters and other local delicacies,” he said, “our instructors are well versed in their own subject matter and are able to engage the students in a lively and entertaining way that properly interests them.

“In this way we believe the students get the very most out of their experience on the Heritage Arts programme,” added Mr. Christian.

East End Primary Year 6 teacher Aubrey Leahong said her students have participated in the Heritage Arts program for four years, “and it is a beautiful thing.”

“It’s an extremely good programme because it looks to the history of traditional arts, going into traditions such as thatching, games, making kites, making fritters with guava jam and so on,” she said.

More than 300 people attended opening night for the student exhibition at The Ritz-Carlton hotel last month, and their work remains on display until Aug. 15.

Having found the program and art exhibition helpful in building confidence and team-building skills, the program also helps in promoting a flair for the arts, said Ms. Leahong, “but more than that, what I really love is the powerful literacy aspect associated with the programme.”

The Heritage Arts program, which is offered across all government schools in Cayman, is funded by the Ministry of District Administration, Tourism and Transport; the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs; and the Ministry of Health and Culture.