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UVI Humanities Festival Celebrates Culture

April 1, 2005 – The University of the Virgin Islands will celebrate the annual Humanities Festival with activities April 3-9. This year's theme is Focus on the Folk Virgin Islands Arts and Culture.
The festival is designed to showcase the scholarly achievement and creative skill in the humanities of students, scholars, artists and musicians from the Virgin Islands, the wider Caribbean, and the Caribbean diaspora, said organizer Dr. David Gould.
This year we want to focus specifically on the Virgin Islands, Dr. Gould said, and hence the theme.
We want to showcase and celebrate the power of the humanities in song, story, poetry, music, dance, film and academic writing to create and foster cross-cultural connections in the local area and throughout the region, added Dr. Gould, a UVI English professor. Scholars in the disciplines of history, literature and cultural studies will unite with culture-bearers in folklore, storytelling, and other specifically Caribbean styles of music, and with dancers and other performing artists. Performances will include discussion and commentary between and among the performers, humanities scholars and members of the audience.
The festival will begin with a Caribbean Cultural Extravaganza on April 3. It will be a celebration of song, dance and storytelling, involving numerous local cultural organizations such as the St. Lucia Creole Dancers, the St. Croix Heritage Dancers, Music in Motion, El Ballet Folclorico, La Tuna de Santa Cruz, the John Woodson masque group, and numerous individuals from the community.
A panel discussion Focus on Folk Music will be held on day two of the festival. Local musicians including members of Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights, Camile King Derby Macedon and Prince Galloway will speak about the role of quelbe, cariso, dancehall and other local and pan-Caribbean styles of music in Caribbean culture. It will be followed by performances and demonstrations of various styles of Caribbean music and dance, and discussion of their role in creating cultural connections among the various islands of the Caribbean.On April 6 an oratorical contest and debate will focus attention on the persuasive power of the word in respect to an issue of local interest and cultural importance the topic will be St. Croix Secession.
The annual Student Humanities Conference will be incorporated into the Humanities Festival, giving students from UVI and other Caribbean colleges and universities the opportunity to present papers related to the conference theme.
It is hoped that the Humanities Festival will strengthen a sense of community by highlighting the cultural contributions of diverse population groups in the Virgin Islands, the wider Caribbean, and the Caribbean diaspora, Dr. Gould said.
St. Croix Festival Schedule
Sunday, April 3
7 p.m. Opening Ceremony: Caribbean Cultural Extravaganza, with steel pan, dancers, a Dominican skit and Spanish/Crucian/French creole poetry in the Cafetorium
Monday, April 4
7:30 p.m. "Focus on Folk Music" panel discussion and performance on quelbe/cariso music featuring Stanley Jacobs of Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights, Camille "King Derby" Macedon and Prince Galloway in the Cafetorium
Tuesday, April 5
9-11 a.m. Caribbean Film Presentations: "Family of the Caribbean" and "Once Upon a Time: A Story About Education in the Virgin Islands" in room EC 401
Wednesday, April 6
9 a.m. Oratorical Contest: "St. Croix Secession" in the Cafetorium
7 p.m. Poetry Readings, Poetry Contest Awards and open mic featuring readings by Erna Brodber in the Cafetorium

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