(CMR) Despite major setbacks to the entertainment industry due to COVID-19, organizers of Cayfest are getting ready for a grand celebration of various aspects of Cayman's artistic talents next month.
The Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF), the organizer of Cayfest 2021, said that after a difficult year for the arts and culture community and the creative economy, the event would again highlight cultural diversity artistic talent that flourishes in Cayman.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the lives of artists and cut off the world from the sustaining nourishment of the creative industries. The lack of a job, limited and dwindling funds, the uncertainty of an end to the pandemic as the virus continues to mutate, and whether the vaccine will be effective, have all played a role in enervating society.” Henry Muttoo, CNCF artistic director, said.
“Cayfest aims to rekindle the fire of our creativity by offering an exciting platform for artists to share their work in craft, song, dance, painting and sculpture and theatre, and for our community to engage the experience,” Muttoo added.
Organizers of Cayfest said the events, held over three days, showcase Cayman’s finest talents with an emphasis on local arts and culture and an eclectic mix of visual arts and crafts, music, theatre, dance, film, fashion design, and cultural discussions.
This year’s celebrations will kick off on Thursday, February 18, with the 27th annual National Arts & Culture Awards ceremony.
This takes place at the Harquail Theatre and is open to the public. While there is no admission fee, those interested in attending need to make a reservation by calling the Cultural Foundation office.
The next event on the Cayfest calendar is the Dress For Culture Day on Friday, February 26. This annual ‘dress up, dress down’ fundraiser celebrates Cayman’s multicultural community.
Schools, businesses, and individuals are encouraged to creatively display their homeland pride and cultural attire on Dress For Culture Day for a donation of $5 per adult and $3 per student. Monies raised go toward CNCF’s cultural heritage preservation programs.
Cayfest will culminate with the signature Red Sky at Night multi-cultural arts fair on Saturday, February 27.
The popular multicultural arts fair will also take place on the Harquail Theatre's grounds.
However, organizers said that due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, there will be a Red Sky matinee and then a separate evening session.
The matinee, which will cater to families, will take place from 2 pm to 6 pm. The matinee will include a Creative Kids area, which offers supervised activities and specialty food for kids ages three to 12, along with entertainment for all ages.
The later event will start at 7 pm and continue until 11 pm.
“We’re profoundly indebted to those who continue to make art, who define and preserve our heritage and culture and, as well, to those who make voluntary contributions to the development and maintenance of Caymanian society,” said Muttoo.
Muttoo also urged groups to be a part of the Parade of Nations, which takes place during Red Sky At Night.
Artisans, actors, comics, fashion designers, magicians, food vendors, singers, dancers, instrumentalists, musical groups, poets, and storytellers interested in participating in Cayfest, can still register by contacting Melanie McField on [email protected] or 949-5078/949-5859.
Vendor registration for Red Sky at Night is open until Friday, January 29. Local artists, artisans, and food vendors are invited to sign up to promote, sell and display their work and sell their food.
To register and for more information, email [email protected] or call (345) 623-8823.
Tickets for the matinee go on sale on February 1. There will be a limited amount of tickets. The public is encouraged to purchase tickets in advance online at www.eventpro.ky.