The National Arts and Culture Awards organised annually by the Department of Youth and Culture (DYC) was held at Italia Restaurant at Cuisinart Resort on December 22, 2016. When I arrived I spotted a group of persons dressed in the vibrant blue, orange and white of our national dress. They were part of the Mayoumba Folkloric Theatre. They looked so festive and I felt a stirring of national pride. I love to see persons wearing the national dress.
I saw some familiar faces when I entered the lobby. A large television screen was strategically placed to allow event-goers to enjoy the pre-interviews happening on the inside. I joined a friend at one of the cocktail tables as we watched the screen and listened to Countess Rey interview various persons including the Hon. Parliamentary Secretary, Permanent Secretary, the Director of Youth and Culture and the Senior Programme Officer – Youth and Culture. It was good to hear about the awardees and future plans for enhancing and preserving culture in Anguilla.
After the interviews, we moved inside for the main part of the event. Ms. Carencia Rouse, the reigning Miss Anguilla, chaired the Awards Presentation. I knew all the awardees in one form or the others, so it was wonderful to be there to see them recognized for their contribution to arts and culture. The overview of the selection process was given by the Chairperson of the Awards Committee, Jacqueline Bryan-Niles. Other members of this committee were Davon Carty, Angela “Singing Angie” Ruan, Karimah Carty and Leslie Nanton. Their selections for awards were definitely impressive!
2016 Award Recipients
The 2016 award recipients are below. Click on the link provided for further details.
The Rock Award in Theatre Arts Presented to David Carty
The Rock Award in Musical Arts Presented to Keith “Tampa”Gumbs
The Rock Award in Visual Arts Presented to Octavia Melsadis Fleming
The Rock Award in Visual Arts Presented to Louise Brooks
The Rock Award in Cultural Presentation Presented to Welches Fest Committee
The awardees received some beautiful plaques made by Cheddie’s Carving Studio. Congrats to all persons who received awards.
Ms. Shellya Rogers, Senior Programme Officer-Culture and Arts asked for a moment of silence in recognition of the heroes and heroines we lost in 2016. A brief slide show was shown in honour and recognition of those who are no longer with us.
Ms. Rogers also made a special presentation to Mrs. Chanelle Petty-Barrett, the outgoing Permanent Secretary for Youth and Culture. On behalf of the Management and Staff of DYC, she expressed appreciation to Mrs. Petty Barrett for her support and encouragement over the years. Mrs. Petty Barrett was presented with gift basket of locally made soaps and a hand crafted doll.
In his closing remarks, the Director of Youth and Culture, Mr. Bren Romney called Mrs. Petty Barrett back to the stage for a hug as he too shared his fondest memories and thanked her for her support. He also shared appreciation to the entire staff at DYC for their hard work and dedication.
There were a number of other persons who participated in the event including
Kaiheem Richardson – National Anthem & National Song
Rev. Menes Hodge – Invocation
Carencia Rouse, Miss Anguilla 2016/2017 – Opening Remarks
Hon. Parliamentary Secretary (responsibility for Culture & Arts) Mr. Cardigan Connor – Welcome
Special selections were also done by
Mayoumba Folkloric Theatre
Kingdom Awakening Dancers
Entertainment throughout the evening was provided by Overdrive String Band.
After the awards, dinner was served. The salad with fresh ingredients from the hydroponic farm at Cuisinart Resort was fabulous. Someone at my table who wasn’t a fan of lettuce cleaned their plate! It was fun talking to friends at my table about folk songs we seldom hear anymore which we used to sing and present at concerts when we were in primary school. We all agreed it would be great if more children today could gain an appreciation for folk songs. School concerts are a great opportunity for students to learn and display some of our cultural favourites.
Speaking of preserving culture, two friends at the table expressed interest in joining Mayoumba Folkloric Theatre. Kudos to them as the most effective way to preserve culture or traditions is to get involved.
Congratulations are in Order
It was a great evening. Congratulations to the awardees. Thank you for your contribution to culture and the arts. Thanks to the Department of Youth and Culture and the Government of Anguilla for putting together such a fabulous event of recognition. Be sure to nominate persons for the awards next year and show your support for the great work done by DYC.
All photos in this blog post were taken by Zuri Wilkes.
Pursue what really matters…Shelly