Tag Archives: Museum of Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua-Barbuda Independence

This is actually a From the Mailbox but it’s one appropriately timed to our Independence (November 1st 1981) of which we are observing the 35th anniversary.

Here’s the letter which will be followed by the newsletter – which includes a lot of history – games, houses, forts, and more.

Dear Members and Friends

Happy 35th Independence to you all, our newsletter will take you back on several journeys.

Do enjoy, and look out for the Museum’s exciting exhibit upgrade appeal in November.

We are also appealing for persons to assist us with a building wash. When you drive by the Museum at night, you will notice that 4 spotlights have been installed, compliments of the Festival Commission. Our building now urgently needs a wash. Please support us by donating. Total Cost $3,500.00. We have so far riased $1,000.00. Help donate!

Please email us to verify your membership status as we are upgrading our Membership list.

Many thanks for your support

Newsletter Committee

And now the newsletter: has-newsletter-3rd-qtr-2016a

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA. LET’S ASPIRE TO BE BETTER.

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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus

Wadadli Pen Through the Years (2004 – 2010)

Cue Kenny Rogers’ Through the Years…as we launch the 5th installment of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize (2004 – 2006, 2010 – present), let’s take a look back at moments from the programme’s six year run.

In 2004…

Verdanci Benta wowed the judges with her mature and accomplished entry, Shirley’s New Roommate. The then Golden Grove Primary School student won the ‘best under 12’ category and a spot in the top three overall; a reminder that it’s not about age, it’s about talent. Verdanci would show up in each subsequent competition, earning some form of recognition…most of the time.

Note the BWIA banner in the background? I have to give it up to corporate Antigua for stepping up to support, a new programme they knew little about. That year’s award ceremony was held at Heritage Hotel and a number of them showed up…so of course we had to get a group shot with Culture and Education officials, winners and/or their parents, and sponsor representatives (author S. E. James, front row left, Anicol and Caribbean Star, front row right).

As I look at the pic, I’m reminded how much I loved the stories that first year like, from far left standing, Siena Hunte’s Nuclear Familiy Explosion, Liscia Lawrence’s The Day I saw Evil, Gemma George’s Stray Dog Prepares for the Storm (the winning entry), Lia Nicholson’s Tekin Ahn Day (that’s her mom in the picture), and Damani Tabor’s Irate Beggar. The prizes that first year were well deserved. Here’s Gemma collecting her computer from Gerard Shoul of Comnett:

In 2005…

For all the times I’ve wished I could pursue programmes under Wadadli Pen as a full time paying job, it remains a volunteer gig. But in 2005, it felt like a full time job. There were writing workshops with the kids…

There was prize solicitation…here I am pictured with Paula Lee of Cable and Wireless at a media handover of their 2005 contribution:

There were in-school writing workshops like this one at Buckley’s Primary (which that year submitted the most entries):

                                                                                                            

There was media promotion, winner recordings, web site development, judging, and, of course, the prize giving ceremony (all of which required a lot of back ground prep from the partners which, at the time, included Young Explorer, D. Gisele Isaac, and Alstyne Allen). It cut into work time, to be sure, but paid off in other ways as this was our best year yet in terms of participation.

 The kids were beaming; the Youth Minister stopped by, Heather Doram, the then Culture Director, dropped some wisdom…

and later that year, three of the kids (Rilys Adams, Sarah Ann Li, and Sandrena Martin) won literary awards recognition from the Optimists. All in all, a good year.

In 2006…

We started not with the actual awards but with a joint literary showcase and fundraiser (Word Up!) with the Musuem of Antigua and Barbuda which attracted support from new and established writers (including Wadadli Pen finalists like Sandrena ; and which, as this Jermilla Kirwan image by Laura Hall shows, was highly entertaining .

The Museum (thanks, as always, to Michelle) was once again the venue, later that year, when we staged the Awards ceremony:

Sapped, I shelved Wadadli Pen for a couple of years, but returned …

In 2010 (still pressed for time but even more determined to keep it going) with new partners, an art component, and a theme driven approach (it was part of our Black History Month programme of activities). In that spirit, the awards ceremony  was part of a special BHM edition of Word Up (directed by Zahra Airall) which included dancing (Antigua Dance Academy) , drumming  (Zucan Bandele and friends), calypso (King Zacari), performance art (Argent), and poetry (Linisa George, ZIA, and Zee’s Youth Theatre channelling various Antiguan writers ).

Wadadli Pen was back…and here to stay (2011 launched just this week!), whatever it takes.

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Flashback – Word Up! 2006

Word Up! was a literary showcase held for the first time in 2006 – with a revival in 2010 – in collaboration with the Museum which hosted the event. It was a joint fundraiser and an opportunity to shine the spotlight on Antigua’s literary stars such as

S. E James, author of the children’s adventure series that includes Tragedy on Emerald Island, A Narrow Escape, and Kidnapped at the Beach

S. E. James

Joy Lawrence, author of Island Spice, Colours and Rhythms, The Way We Talk, and The History of Bethesda and Christian Hill

Joy Lawrence

Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau, who can be heard on the Spoken Word CD Absouluuutely Dotsie
 
Tamo Zakela

Tamo Zakela, also known as Antigua's High Priest of Poetry

 Jermilla Kirwan, star of The Sweetest Mango and Diablesse (with which she also served as co-writer)

Jermilla Kirwan, writer and former Carnival Queen

 Kush David, poet and activist

Kush

Tameka Jarvis author of the poetry collections, I Am That I Am and I Am, and book of fiction (released 2010) Unexpected
 
Zeina Hechme who won the first of the Independence Literary Arts competitions in 2005
Sandrena Martin, 2005 Wadadli Pen Winner
and others. It was a really fun night, emceed by Natalie Clarke White, and well attended. Proceeds helped with the 2006 Wadadli Pen competition and part proceeds went to the museum. When Word Up! was held for the second time in 2010 it was directed by Zahra Airall with performances by her Zee’s Youth Theatre – interpreting the work of various Antiguan authors – and others . Proceeds from that were donated to the Red Cross for Haitian relief in the wake of the quake.
Photos by Laura Hall and/or Gemma Hazelwood

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