Charitable Arts Foundation Hosts Starry, Starry Night
Nassau, Bahamas – On December 10th at Sapodilla Restaurant, the Charitable Arts Foundation hosted a gorgeous night under the stars to bring in the festive season and raise thousands of dollars to support arts in The Bahamas, with a special allocation to Hurricane Matthew relief fund.
Sapodilla Restaurant came alive to Christmas carols performed Rake N’ Scrape style by the Rhythm N’ Youth band and festive island melodies exquisitely performed by the Bahamas National Youth Choir, led by conductor and pillar in the cultural community, Cleophas Adderley. “Bethlehemu” a Nigerian carol and Noel Dexter’s Jamaican carol were performed as were Old English Lute melodies and 16th century French tunes. Keri Sherman, Soprano and Dana Knowles, Baritone, rocked the night with solos such as “These are a Few of My Favorite Things” and “Go Where I Send Thee” a Bahamian spiritual.
The works of legendary and some departed Bahamian artists were displayed – some for purchase, others for an exciting night auction. Pieces from Stan Burnside, Brent Malone, Chantal Bethel, Kendal Hanna, John Cox, Antonius Roberts, and many other great Bahamian artists were displayed.
Lady Foulkes serves as the patron of the annual holiday concert, which aims to nurture and develop the creative talents, artistic abilities, and cultural exposure of the people of The Bahamas.
The Charitable Arts Foundation Council was established in 1995 as the Endowment for the Performing Arts of The Bahamas. The Council currently administers the disbursement of up to $100,000 annually in grants to qualifying persons. Applications are considered in the categories of Fine Arts, Dance, and Choreography, Acting and Directing, Voice, Music Composition and Performance, Curatorial Studies, Playwriting, Cultural Exhibition, Film and Video.
“Many of the artists who performed are past recipients of grants. They are all donating their time and remarkable talents to contribute to our growth. Similarly, the participating visual artists continue to be generous in their support of the Charitable Arts Foundation,” said the Council.
The event featured musical performances; an entertaining auction hosted by Dionisio D’Aguilar; a Christmas bazaar; gourmet food; wine, champagne and desserts. This year’s gala took place at the Sapodilla Restaurant on West Bay Street on Thursday, December 8, 2016, graciously hosted by Elaine Williams Pinder, MBE.
The Christmas Bazaar featured beautiful hand crafted pieces, including collector’s straw bags designed in the unique Long Island way by Barbara Jesubatham; the works of Jessica Colebrooke, artist and ceramicist; and Pashminas and fabulous handbags by O’Linda M. Lee.
The art of food wasn’t left out of this memorable event. A first class dinner, masterfully prepared by Chef Simeon Hall Jr., served to a party of twelve with all the dishes done, $500 towards the gourmet grocery, and Young’s Fine Wines were auctioned off as a package, much to the delight of the winner. Sapodilla chefs prepared a series of cold, then hot gourmet delights, followed by a spread of delightful desserts. The champagne, wines, and just about any drink one could want pouring freely all night, as Tia Young and the staff provided stellar service. Wildflowers Events and Occasions, Joan Mann original tablecloths and Patrice Paton contributed to the decor.
C.I. Gibson Senior High School was seeking $10,000 to rebuild its music room and replace instruments lost in Hurricane Matthew. The Foundation successfully raised enough money for the school to do so, and regain its position as a rival band amongst high schools. Student Stanesha Diligence stole the night and received a standing ovation for her soprano rendition of “Silent Night”.
Spoken word in Baritone was performed by Prince Blyden and Randell Johnson performed a solo. Council members include Cleophas Adderley, Katie Booth, Campbell Cleare, Saskia D’Aguilar, Dawn Davies, Maria Ferere, Tracie Hoo-Glinton, Orjan Lindroth, Deborah Lotmore, Terry North, Patrice Paton, Antonius Roberts, Vaughn Roberts, Beat Schlagenhauf, Nicole Timonier, and Sharon Wilson.
By Felicity Ingraham
Kendal Hanna, right, 80 year-old Bahamian artist still going strong, inspired Fina Johnson to make friends with him that night; much to her surprise she learned that Hanna grew up with her father, Abaco artist Robert Johnson, and also received a grant to study art from her grandfather. (Photo: Felicity Ingraham)