Artistic Director of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, Henry Muttoo announced the recipients of the 2020 National Arts & Culture Awards. There are gold, silver and bronze awards in each category, and they reflect the contribution that Cayman people have made, sometimes over many years, to the cultural and artistic life of the Cayman Islands. The awards will be formally presented on February 20. Awards are also presented for Volunteer of the Year, Sponsor of the Year, and the Chairman’s Award for outstanding long-term support of CNCF’s work.
Every year a call goes out for nominations, not only from other culture, art and heritage organisations, but to the general public for artists and those who are dedicated in preserving and interpreting Cayman’s culture, to present nominations to the CNCF’s Awards Committee, Mr. Muttoo said.
This year, Debra Barnes-Tabora, was among the Gold Heritage Cross Award recipients. Her passion for Cayman’s history started when she was still at high school. She joined the Cayman Islands National Museum in 1989 and has dedicated her life to the collection, preservation, interpretation and exhibition of Cayman’s cultural heritage. As the National Museum’s Curation and Collections Manager, she is proud to say she holds the “Best job in the world,” collecting, caring for and handling precious objects from Cayman’s past, Mr. Muttoo said.
Isaac Jeralow Rankine another recipient of the Gold Heritage Cross Award. “Mr. Rankine is recognized as a culture ambassador of the Cayman Islands, for his work in the net-making tradition, a discipline he learned by watching his father and by watching his elders,” Mr. Muttoo said. A retired seaman, respected musician and traditional net maker, Mr. Rankine is among the few remaining net makers in the Cayman Islands.
Gold Heritage Cross Award recipient Anne Walton, from Booby Point, Spot Bay, Cayman Brac has excelled in the preservation and promotion of Caymanian heritage and traditions, and has significantly contributed to the shaping of cultural identity of the Cayman Islands, particularly Cayman Brac, Mr. Muttoo said.
Gold Star for Creativity Awardee Wray Banker has been drawing inspiration from Caymanian Culture for the last 20 years. Often thought of as a painter, he also does fine crafts, industrial and graphic design, photography and hand-printing techniques of lithograph. He’s a founding member of the local artists’ cooperative Native Sons, launched in 1996.
Gold Star for Creativity Awardee Conroy Ebanks was born in Cayman Brac. After serving in the US Army he attended the Miami Dade Community College, majoring in printing, photography, and drawing.
Silver Star for Creativity Awardee, Barbadian George Jones, is a founding member and keyboard player for one of the Caribbean’s top soca bands, Square One. Since migrating to the Cayman Islands Mr. Jones has performed with several local groups and in 2012 formed a new band, CAY-NRG.
The Chairman’s Award is given for outstanding long-term support of the work of the CNCF, and this year is awarded to Sandra Watler, while Ilean Powery, Hazel Brown, and Raj Ramasubbu are recipients of Outstanding Volunteer Awards.