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GB shows well at art festival

FREEPORT-Grand Bahama had a magnificent showing at the 2010 E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival, having produced more winners than any other district in the country.

The awards presentation was held yesterday at the Hilton Outten Convention Centre. Grand Bahama received 122 awards.

Keva Cartwright, senior cultural affairs officer and National Arts Festival secretary, raved about the artistry of Grand Bahamian students, noting that they excel particularly in the area of music.

“They are the best in the entire country when it comes to music, they really need to be commended for that,”she said.”Grand Bahama is a definite standout musically.”

Students participated in a wide range of categories including arts and craft, music and drama.

“Eight Mile Rock High has won the Governor General’s Award, which is the most prestigious award in the festival,”she said.

Cartwright explained that the recipient of the award would have accumulated the most wins for first, second and third place prizes at the festival.

She noted that the festival is an excellent learning environment for students, as it helps to sharpen their artistic skills.

There has been a renewed interest in the festival, said Cartwright, as more students from across the country are participating.

“The National Arts Festival is on the up again. There is no island that you can name that has not participated in the festival from Grand Bahama to Inagua,”she added.

Several students from Grand Bahama and two teachers also received special awards.

“I think that speaks volumes for Grand Bahama. That means you are among the best. You probably are the best,”Cartwright said.

Cecil Thompson, deputy director at the Department of Education, was not at all surprised at the level of talent displayed by Grand Bahama, noting that the island has a long record of distinction at the National Arts Festival.

“The schools in Grand Bahama have had the distinction of dominating the National Arts Festival particularly in music not only by the quantity of our entries, but more importantly by the quality of their performances and presentations,”he said.

Thompson credited the principals, teachers and parents involved.

“This is like the capital of the National Arts Festival, the epicenter if you like, and I’m so proud,”he said.

He also lauded Eight Mile Rock High School for winning the Governor General’s Award, sharing that notable persons such as K.B. Simeon Outten have graduated from the school.

“The students at Eight Mile Rock High have maintained a high standard over the years,”said Thompson.

Charles Maynard, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, shared that Grand Bahama has been one of the signature islands in terms of its participation in the festival, adding that he was particularly pleased with Eight Mile Rock High School.

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