The Cayman Music & Entertainment Association (CMEA) is now governed by a newly-elected Executive Board, comprised of five first-time Board members, and four returning members.
The 2021 AGM and Officer Elections were held on February 28th. The four-hour event touched on new priorities, past issues and the 2021-22 post Covid outlook. One unresolved issue is a member-dispute between a small faction of ex members, which was recently referred for bi-partisan arbitration, after members failed to come to a consensus.
Jeán - eric “Mr Notch” Smith was unanimously returned as President, along with newly elected Dominique Ebanks as Vice-President, Charles “Chuck Taylor” Barnes Jr - Secretary, Fred Sambula - Treasurer, Steve Reid - Asst.Secretary and four additional officers: David Gooding, Christopher Seymour, Verlene Wallace and Martino Connolly. Together, these members come from across the music-entertainment industry, and constitute the most diverse and experienced line-up in CMEA’s history.
Reflective of the diverse membership, the new Executive Board consists of the broadest base of entertainment industry experience ever represented nationally; with the new line-up including current and veteran musicians, venue owners, band leaders, singers, radio and club DJs, promoters, technicians.
President Smith noted that the first mandate of the new CMEA Exec is to update its Constitution, bringing it into full compliance with new non-profit organization standards.
The priorities on the CMEA 2021 calendar, he shared, are to maintain:
• “Summer Beach Party” started last year in late September
• “Sounds of Love” Annual Benefit Concert on 27th November "Cayman Thanksgiving”
• Continue to partner with the Pirates Week Festival in the production of "The National Song Competition”
• “Night with the Legends” on 4th December
• Preparing for The MUZAIC XIIII Festival Weekend in January 2022 on Heroes Day Weekend
• The new Executive also intends to round-out this year’s calendar by creating more live music and Dj musical events showcasing its own members and newly acquired PA system. noting that “It is very important for the tourism sector that we get things back to normal within the local music-entertainment industry.”
Expressing appreciation for Government’s continued assistance for musicians during this COVID pandemic Mr. Smith – whose 2020 INTERIM Executive initiated the campaign that sought governmantal financial support for all local musicians – thanked the Ministry and Minister responsible for Culture for once again revisiting the stipend programme extended to its members. Over the past year an unprcedented CI$400, 000 has been distributed directly into the collective hands of the veteran and current musicians of our local music community.
To date there are about 100 active CMEA members in good standing, with twice as many people on its general mailing list.