Cayman set to celebrate arts and culture

| 09/02/2018
CNS Local Life

Vendor displays wares at 2017 Red Sky at Night

(CNS Local Life): Cayfest, the Cayman Islands National Festival of Arts, raises its curtains this month, showcasing the cultural diversity and artistic talent in the community. The event, which features various activities over a 10-day period, kicks off with the National Arts & Culture Awards and culminates with Red Sky at Night, the festival’s signature event.

Organisers, the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF), said in a press release that Cayfest is Cayman’s finest showcase of local talent, with an emphasis on local arts and culture, and a dynamic mix of visual arts, music, theatre, film, fashion design and cultural discussions.

“Highlights each year include the very popular Café Cayman, displays of unique specialty items from local artisans, locally produced films, well-loved music from the Cayman Islands National Folk Singers and performances from local contemporary artists,” the release said.

Henry Muttoo, CNCF artistic director, said of the festival, “For over 20 years, Cayfest has served as a physical representation and reflection of Cayman’s unique history and heritage, our diverse people and all of the colours and creativity in our culture and community.

“The festival supports the mission that CNCF undertook over 30 years ago, which is to signify Cayman’s heritage and culture, and to give it form, context and meaning.”

The 24th annual arts and culture awards take place at the Harquail Theatre on Thursday, 22 February and is an invitation-only affair. The awards recognise those who have contributed to the arts, culture and heritage of the Cayman Islands, attained a level of merit in their artistic discipline and supported the work of CNCF.

CNS Local Life

Cayman Islands Folk Singers performing

The Heritage Cross and the Star for Creativity in the Arts, among other award categories, will be presented to more than a dozen artists, culture-makers, volunteers and other supporters of the arts.

“This is an opportunity for us to shine a light on those who have blazed a trail in building, sustaining and revolutionising Cayman’s arts scene and culture, while reminding us from where we’ve come,” said Muttoo.

Dress for Culture Day, now in its sixth year, is set for Friday, 23 February. This annual “dress up, dress down” fundraiser celebrates Cayman’s multicultural community which comprises more than 100 nationalities. On the day, schools, businesses and individuals can creatively display homeland pride and cultural attire for a donation of $5 per adult and $3 per student. The money raised will go toward CNCF youth programmes such as Young Image Makers, Young at Arts Theatre Intensive and the CNCF Summer Arts Camp.

“Being a part of Dress for Culture Day can be as elaborate or as simple as you like,” said CNCF programmes manager, Patrice Beersingh. “Wear your country colours, a scarf or tie with a particular plaid or design, or a full-fledged costume if the spirit takes you, anything that expresses who you are culturally. You may even find connections with others that you didn’t know existed.”

Cayfest 2018 wraps up with Red Sky at Night which takes place Saturday, 3 March from 4pm to midnight on the grounds of the Harquail Theatre. The fair features dance, music and drama performances, as well as arts, crafts and films. The entertainment will range from steel pan, fiddles and drums, to DJs, dance troupe performances, storytelling and theatre.

Both established and up-and-coming artistes are welcomed and embraced on the four Red Sky stages. Some of the highlights of the night are expected to be the launch of the Cayman Islands Folk Singers new album and the return of the parade of nations, featuring national costumes and dress from around the world.

There will also be dozens of booths with locally made art, crafts, jewellery, clothes and accessories, as well as vendors at the Café Cayman area offering dishes such as Cayman-style beef, fish rundown, stewed conch and lobster, and desserts including pepper jelly, coconut treats, heavy cakes, ice cream and doughnuts. In addition, the creative kids area will provide supervised activities and specialty food for children aged three to 12.

Tickets for Red Sky at Night are $15 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under, and $10 for seniors (65+) and students aged 13 to 17. Tickets can be purchased at all Foster’s Food Fair locations, Funky Tang’s, Health Care Pharmacy Grand Harbour and the CNCF office until Friday, 2 March. Ticket sales at the gate begin at 3pm on 3 March.

For more information about Cayfest, call 949-5477, email CNCF or go to the CNCF Facebook page

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Category: Arts & Crafts, Culture, Music, Performing Arts

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