Fun Fact about me: I come from a family of artists. My mother, Susan, is an artist and photographer; my Uncle Johnny is an artist and writer; and my Great Aunt Bessie was a sculptor with pieces in the Smithsonian (her husband was a newspaper reporter and author). My husband, Daryl, is also an artist.
Sensing a trend yet?
When I was growing up, I was always involved in a lot of different artistic activities ranging from photography to drama class. When we moved to Anguilla in the late nineties, the after-school arts scene was limited at best.
There was the dance/performing group All-Ah-We (I never joined because, Second Fun Fact: I HATE DANCING) and that was basically it. Then, one summer Eleanor, a theatre arts college student, decided to do her thesis on creating a theatre troupe in Anguilla. APPLE Theatre became the highlight of my teenage summers (Third Fun Fact: this was where Daryl and I became friends).
Unfortunately, we kids were unable to keep up the group after Eleanor stopped coming. I performed in a couple plays with Anguilla’s long-standing Sunshine Theatre Group as an adult, but since then my stage acting foray has been nil*.
What isn’t nil, however, is the arts scene in Anguilla. There are now many opportunities for children to get involved in the arts, which is awesome! We have music programs, art classes, I teach an after school creative writing class to primary-aged kids now, and we finally have theatre for children.
My daughter Savannah recently joined STAGES, the theatre arts troupe here in Anguilla. What I like about the group is that it encompasses a broad aspect of both visual and performing arts. Savannah has enjoyed developing as an artist and shows some pretty decent organisational skill as a stage manager (she is not as forthcoming on stage as I was during my formative years, but we are working on that). The troupe itself is led by Collette Jones-Chin, a multi-faceted writer/performer/visual artist who is a woman after my own artistic heart.
This year, STAGES has been invited to participate in a cultural exchange program with an International School in Cuba. The group will be flying to Cuba in late April to perform the Derek Walcott classic West Indian play Ti Jean and His Brothers. In true fundraising spirit, we held our first event last night at the breathtaking Spyglass Hill Villa. Of course, it was an art night. You can’t go wrong with wine and paint brushes!
For US$25, you had access to everything you needed to paint your own unique masterpiece. Art instructors were on hand (Daryl was one) to assist when needed and everyone who came had a blast.
I’m sure the bottomless wine (and lemonade for the non-drinkers) helped to free up any inhibitions about painting. If you missed it, don’t worry because we will definitely be hosting another event soon.
*Remember above when I said that I am not acting anymore? Well, guess who is back! I am excited to share that I am part of the cast of “The Vagina Monologues” which will be showing on March 9th and 10th at Paradise Cove. I will be blogging separately about this experience next week.
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to purchase a ticket. It is sure to be an intense show.