GCA celebrates 22 years of Guyana Folk Festival season in Brooklyn – Caribbean Life


Reflecting this year’s theme of “[email protected]: Reflections and Legacies”, the curtain fell on the thrilling rhythms of a Guyanese folk ensemble of drums, guitar and saxophone on the 22n/a anniversary of the 2022 season of the New York-based Guyana Cultural Association’s (GCA) Guyanese Folk Festival with a spectacular day of multicultural family fun on Sunday, September 4, on the grounds of Old Boys High School in Brooklyn.

After a two-year hiatus, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Family Fun Day has returned with a grand, in-person season finale with Caribbean flavors.

The official ceremony opened with a parade of CARIFESTA countries represented by participants from the Children’s Village escorted by Master Jaguar Julio Thijs on stilts.

Stage presentations included Guyanese folk artists, performances of Caribbean folk music by the Roxborough Folk Group of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaican-led Braata Folk Singers and Angels Caribbean Band.

The plethora of attractions on the grounds, surrounded by the aroma of Guyanese and Caribbean cuisine, included the Children’s Village, which offered several folk and educational games; hometown and alumni associations; health care groups; and Guyanese crafts.

The Guyana Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, whose objective is to propel economic development by stimulating tourism, presented several opportunities and destinations for tourism development in Guyana.

Tourism Minister Oneidge Walrond highlighted plans for the first ever cricket carnival to come, urging members of the Guyanese diaspora and anyone interested in learning more about Guyana to visit and participate in the cricket carnival.

“Based on crowd attendance, reports and feedback received, GCA’s 22n/a Family Fun Day could rightly be described as a highly successful, professional, informative and creative occasion representing the true spirit of CARIFESTA,” GCA said in a statement posted to Caribbean life.

He said the day’s activities also highlighted the cultural similarities and multicultural roots of the Caribbean, “illustrating that working with communities at regional, international and national levels continues to keep our diverse cultural heritage alive and strengthen the bonds of our cultural heritages, which are important for present and future generations”.

GCA said another key event of the 2022 Guyanese folk festival season is the Caribbean Heritage Summer Workshop (SWS) series, which targets young Guyanese and other Caribbean people in New York City.

Folk songs from Braata Productions.” width=”700″ height=”467″ srcset=”https://www.caribbeanlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/gca-guyana-folk-festival-2022-09-15-nk-cl03-700×467.jpg 700w, https://www.caribbeanlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/gca-guyana-folk-festival-2022-09-15-nk-cl03-1200×800.jpg 1200w, https://www.caribbeanlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/gca-guyana-folk-festival-2022-09-15-nk-cl03-768×512.jpg 768w, https://www.caribbeanlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/gca-guyana-folk-festival-2022-09-15-nk-cl03-1536×1024.jpg 1536w, https://www.caribbeanlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/gca-guyana-folk-festival-2022-09-15-nk-cl03-384×256.jpg 384w, https://www.caribbeanlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/gca-guyana-folk-festival-2022-09-15-nk-cl03-900×600.jpg 900w, https://www.caribbeanlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/gca-guyana-folk-festival-2022-09-15-nk-cl03-1600×1067.jpg 1600w” sizes=”(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px”/>
Folk songs from Braata Productions. Photo by Nelson A. King

The program consists of a set of literacy-focused workshops related to stem, performing arts, music, arts and dance, GCA said.

He said the workshops are led by experienced practitioners in each field.

GCA said this year’s SWS was “operational” from July 5 to August 12.

During this period, GCA said several modules were dedicated to educating and entertaining the younger generation through “Reflections and Legacies of CARIFESTA ’72”.

“The GCA made an effort this summer to support the participants of this 14e iteration of its exploration into learning and enjoyment,” said workshop director Dr. Juliet Emanuel in her closing remarks to the Class of 2022. “So while a book may have a modality video, this modality has improved the overall experience of reading, drawing, playing, singing, etc.

Dr. Lear Matthews, one of the sponsors during a closing charge, said: “Many thanks to the Guyana Cultural Association for their tireless efforts in continuing this tradition of service to the Caribbean American community.

“Thank you parents and extended family members for trusting GCA to provide this annual cultural and educational experience,” she added.

In keeping with their camp song, GCA said students are encouraged to “Be the best we can be!”

GCA’s three-day international symposium, August 5-7, reviewed the 50e anniversary of CARIFESTA ’72.

For the past 21 years, GCA said the symposium has remained a “central event” of Guyana’s folk festival season.

This year, in keeping with our theme, the symposium focused on CARIFESTA ’72 and the 50 years since its launch, said GCA.

He said the three-day, mostly virtual symposium was being held under the title “The First Caribbean Festival of Arts as a Prism: 20th Century Festivals in the Multilingual Caribbean.”

GCA said the symposium was envisioned as “an opportunity for cross-generational exploration of the origins, events, experiences, missteps, legacies and stories of CARIFESTA ’72.”

The non-profit group said this was accomplished over 17 sessions featuring artists, archivists, scholars, activists, administrators and policy makers.

The keynote address was delivered by Alison Drayton, Assistant Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for Human and Social Development.

Drums: Winston "Jeggae" Hoppie, with turban, in yellow T-shirt, and Ato Greene.
Drums: Winston “Jeggae” Hoppie, with turban, in yellow T-shirt, and Ato Greene.

GCA said the three-day symposium, which has been viewed more than 24,000 times on social media, also considered, “as part of a conversation, that given the magnitude of the CARIFESTA cultural phenomenon, ( he) must be deep and wide”.

He said the 2022 symposium represents the start of that conversation and, in line with GCA’s mission to collect, preserve and promote Guyanese heritage and creativity, has launched the creation of the digital archive of the festival, culture and culture. Guyanese and Caribbean literature in the Caribbean Library. at the University of Guyana.

“These archives are a major step in the lasting collection and preservation of Guyanese memory,” said GCA, adding that “key to the success of the symposium was the international partnership that was assembled by the organizers of this year’s symposium.” .

In Guyana, GCA’s partners were the University of Guyana, Moray House Trust, Ruimveldt Lions Club and the Festival City 50th Anniversary Celebrations Committee.

GCA said the Caribbean Broadcasting Union was a regional partner; in the UK, Guyana Speaks was a partner; and, in the United States, the other partners were the academic institutions where the organizers are based: Rice University, Binghamton University and Ohio University.

The public is invited to visit the symposium website at: https://www.carifestaat50.com/

The public is also invited to participate in the following events [email protected] initiatives to support the digital archive:

Memories : https://www.carifestaat50.com/recollections

Shoebox Archives: https://www.carifestaat50.com/recollections

GCA’s 2022 awards ceremony, now in its 21st year, took place virtually on Wednesday, August 31.

GCA said its primary goal is to showcase and promote contemporary Guyanese creativity, “as we recognize individuals, groups and agencies whose achievements and current work also advance GCA’s mission to recognize and celebrate the multiple roots of Guyana’s cultural heritage”.

These winners are the result of a process that begins with nominations from the public,” said GCA. “These nominations are then evaluated by panels of distinguished judges. All nominations are assessed against seven criteria: originality, reach, impact/influence, integration, pioneering spirit, challenges and achievements. »

In his message to the 2022 virtual awards ceremony, Amb. Michael Brotherson, Consul General of Guyana in New York, congratulated and thanked this year’s winners for “an outstanding job well done in their respective areas of expertise.

“The Consulate General is proud to recognize the remarkable contributions of each of you to the recognition and development of Guyanese culture,” he said. “Cultural development is a top priority for the government and people of Guyana.

Over the past 21 years, GCA said that with public participation, it has recognized more than 400 Guyanese and other citizens.

In addition, a pre-awards presentation ceremony was held in Guyana for the GCA winners and the first prize winners of the Godfrey Chin Prize for Heritage Journalism.

GCA said the Theater Guild of Guyana “graciously agreed” to host this event at its location in Kingston, Georgetown on Thursday, August 21.

During the ceremony, the keynote address was given by Professor Paloma Mohamed Martin, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana.

Tamika Boatswain, Director of Culture, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, presented the awards and prizes, GCA said.

The Georgetown Organizing Committee included GCA members Margaret Lawrence and Sidney Benjamin, as well as visiting Assistant Cultural Director, Queens resident Dr. Rose October.

GCA also hosted Kweh Kweh Nite, an Afro-Guyanese pre-wedding ritual celebration, on Friday, September 2 in Brooklyn.

“This celebration showcases and celebrates Guyana’s rich folk culture and the creative responses of Guyana’s root cultures to the Guyanese experience,” GCA said.

He said the Guyanese folk festival season supports “interethnic and intergenerational conversations between Guyanese in New York, at home and in the Guyanese diaspora, and helps build bridges of understanding and communication between and among Guyanese, Caribbean and other communities in New York. York.

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