If you grew up or have lived in the Caribbean for any length of time, the Poinciana tree has most likely become an iconic landmark that conjures a feeling of true island living or fond childhood memories. Island kids everywhere will confirm that life felt more exciting the moment the first red-orange blooms started to appear, signifying that summer break was upon them.
In a similar way, the founders of the Poinciana Cayman Art Festival heralded in excitement and awareness for the growing arts scene in the Cayman Islands when their fledgling festival attracted a tremendous amount of community support in 2016.
Now in its second year, which promises to build on the success of the first year, here are the top 6 things that makes this year's festival one of the best in the West (Indies).
1. Poinciana has a charitable focus
Every dollar you spend on a ticket or donation goes towards supporting the Arts in the Cayman Islands. This support ranges from airtime for locally produced films, music videos and archiving Caymanian art, film and music digital media amongst other things.
2. Poinciana has a dedicated local cable channel
Local film and music makers now have an outlet to screen their films and music videos 24 hours a day via Poinciana TV on channel 1 of Logic TV. The new and original content from local artists is a breath of fresh air on cable service mostly dominated by North American content. Footage captured from this year's festival will also be aired on Poinciana TV so be sure to tune in to channel 1.
3. Acoustic Alley is BACK!
Last year one of the highlights of the Festival was the grassroots open mic event dubbed "Acoustic Alley" where anyone and their grandma could unleash their inner rapper, musician, urban poet or straight up vocal skills. On Friday, 10 March experience street art-meets-jam session-meets open mic all happening in a secret location (if you need to know where, you will know where) in the capital.
4. Film, Music and Art
Where other art festivals in the Cayman Islands have traditionally focused on one or two art forms, Poinciana currently recognises the widest range of Arts in more categories than any other awards or festival in the Cayman Islands. These include 8 Film, 15 Music and 12 Art nominee categories.
5. "Roots" Student Challenge
Young people are the very heart and soul of any society and Poinciana celebrates that in a number of ways including an open invitation to all young people ages 11-18 in the Cayman Islands for submissions of original pieces not limited to photos, digital designs, songs, poems, short films or fine art pieces.
6. Poinciana means "Community"
Just as Ohana means "Family" (think Lilo and Stitch), Poinciana truly represents Cayman's Community in its entirety, with no dividing walls of negativity or exclusion. Creativity and the ability to create connects us all and too often we allow the busyness and stress of life to crowd out our creativity. Poinciana is a much-needed opportunity to come together to celebrate our individual and collective talents. It gives the people who call Cayman 'home' a chance to just enjoy the arts in harmonious and inspiring settings and showcase the incredibly talented people of these islands. Check out the exciting schedule of events and join in early and often!
Art Nest Creative Studio at Pasadora Place, Smith Road is proud to be the venue for the Poinciana Opening Art Reception on Tuesday, 7 March. Tickets for the Film screenings and Awards ceremony also available at Art Nest.