(CMR) The show must go on, they say. The Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) is finding ways to make sure that is exactly what happens with its annual celebration, Cayfest, which will creatively work around the current COVID-19 restrictions.
Cayfest 2022 officially kicks off this month with activities and experiences in person, online and on-air. In addition to the 28th annual National Arts & Culture Awards ceremony on Thursday, 17 February, a month-long Red Sky Marketplace experience (online and at the Harquail) and Dress For Culture Day on Friday, 11 March, there will be daily cultural broadcasts on CIGTV and other platforms.
RED SKY MARKETPLACE
The primary adjustment that has been made to the Cayfest calendar affects the popular Red Sky At Night multicultural arts fair. The event will move to an online experience that highlights the talented artists and artisans in the community and allows them to sell their products via online promotion.
Dubbed Red Sky Marketplace, CNCF will promote local artists and their work/crafts on its Instagram and Facebook pages (@CaymanCulture) for patrons to see what is available for sale. Customers who make purchases directly with the artists can then collect their items at the Harquail Theatre on Friday, 25 February (5 pm-8 pm) or Saturday, 26 February (10 am-1 pm) and view other artists’ products. Social distancing, gathering, and mask protocols will be enforced.
“Two years in, and the pandemic continues to impact the livelihoods of Cayman’s artists and entertainers. For the artists and artisans, in particular, Red Sky At Night has always been a unique and effective outlet to showcase their work to a large audience and make some money. We are disappointed that we are unable to provide that opportunity for them this year, but we’re hoping that Red Sky Marketplace will prove to be beneficial for them and that a wider market and potential customer base will be exposed to their work and talent,” said Marcia Muttoo, CNCF Managing Director.
Music, dance, and theatre are also important elements of the customary Red Sky At Night program. CNCF will be supporting the usual vibrant line-up of local artists by hosting a concert at the Harquail Theatre, which will be recorded aired on CIGTV and the CNCF YouTube channel. Due to gathering restrictions, the live event will be limited to a small audience; interested persons can purchase tickets for $25 on a first come-first served basis. The date of the event and artists scheduled to perform will be posted on CNCF’s social media channels.
NATIONAL ARTS & CULTURE AWARDS – Thursday, 17 February
The National Arts & Culture Awards gala takes place at the Harquail Theatre and is an invitation-only event due to COVID restrictions on gatherings. The ceremony recognizes those who have contributed to the arts, culture and heritage of the Cayman Islands, attained a level of merit in their artistic discipline and/or supported the work of CNCF. The award categories are the Gold, Silver and Bronze Heritage Cross, the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stars for Creativity, the Chairman’s Award, and the Outstanding Volunteer Award. There are 12 awardees being feted this year, with Charles Long and Donna Bryan receiving top honors, with the Gold Heritage Cross and Bendel Hydes being awarded the prestigious Visionary Award.
In offering her congratulations and thanks to the 2021 awardees, Mrs. Muttoo said that the Cultural Foundation established the honors in 1991 to ensure that important contributions to Cayman’s cultural identity do not go unnoticed.
DRESS FOR CULTURE DAY – Friday, 11 March
Friday, 11 March is the 10th Dress for Culture Day. This annual ‘dress up, dress down’ fundraiser celebrates Cayman’s multicultural community, which is comprised of over 100 nationalities. Schools, businesses, and individuals across the Cayman Islands are encouraged to creatively display their homeland pride and cultural attire on that day – or another date in March – for a donation to CNCF of $5 per adult and $3 per student. Monies raised go toward CNCF’s cultural heritage preservation and youth programs.
In addition to celebrating the diverse cultures in Cayman, CNCF has decided to include the theme of ‘majesty’ this year as a nod to the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II. Mrs. Muttoo encouraged people taking part to give their ideas free rein.
“While we are certainly celebrating Queen Elizabeth II on this special anniversary, with the Majesty theme this year, Dress for Culture is always open to the imagination of the participants. Feel free to explore whatever the word “majesty” means to you; there are no limits being imposed regarding its interpretation,” she said.
Participants can also choose to take part in the Dress For Culture Facebook Photo Competition by emailing photos to [email protected], which will be posted on the CNCF Facebook page. The photo with the most ‘likes’ wins. Prizes will be awarded in all three categories (school, business and individual).