Walkers lends hand to George Town Primary School

Representatives from Walkers and George Town Primary School stand with a ceremonial check representing a $30,000 donation to the school’s new performing arts center. – Photo: Spencer Fordin

The kids at George Town Primary School will soon have their very own stage from which to shine.

Thanks to a generous benefactor and countless volunteers, the George Town Primary School Performing Arts Center is closer to becoming a reality. Representatives from Walkers, an offshore law firm, handed over a ceremonial check worth $30,000 to school officials Friday for the purpose of finishing the theater.

Cheyenna Mae Hoaglund-Stewart, project coordinator, said Friday that the journey to funding and completing the theater has taken six years. The school has raised about $70,000 in donations over that time, and the administrators are hoping to open the theater in time for the 2018-19 school year.

The performing arts center will be nestled in a building that also houses the school’s cafeteria, and Ms. Hoaglund-Stewart said the funds allowed the school to modernize a structure built in 1989.

“We brought the existing hall up to code,” she said of the building’s improvements. “We put in handicapped accessible bathrooms, new doors and new alarm system. We brought in a new generator.”

The lighting and sound system have already been paid for, and the theater organizers are still trying to figure out how its guests will be seated when they watch performances. But the important part, said principal Sharon Campbell-Danvers, is giving students opportunities to enrich their lives through art.

“When you see the next actors or singers or dancers from Cayman, this is where it starts,” Ms. Campbell-Danvers said. “We’re giving them the opportunity to showcase their talents.”

The theater will be arranged in a “black box” concept, and Ms. Hoaglund-Stewart said that will allow different backdrops and stagings to make each performance unique in its own right.

Walkers was able to make its contribution by virtue of February’s Rockuary fundraiser, which encouraged staff members to get up and sing in front of a band and all their peers.

James Burch was deemed the winner by staff vote for his performance of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades,” and the judges’ vote went to Neil Sherlock, who performed “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers.

Anne Dolan was recognized by the firm for having the most Instagram posts and hashtags and Gloria Ebanks was cited as Rockuary’s best dressed rock star. Tim Buckley, a partner at Walkers, said Friday that the firm was really excited to have fun and positively impact the community at the same time.

“There’s so much research that proves without a doubt that children with access to music and arts do better generally in all areas. We believe that and we’re absolutely delighted to be a little bit of help,” said Mr. Buckley on behalf of his firm. “In the interest of full disclosure, we had a cracking night. It was a lot of fun. This was nothing but an absolute pleasure for us, and we think it’s such a worthy and important thing to be doing for children that really fall through the cracks a lot of the time.”

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