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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. Thomas Festival Schedule
Sunday, April 3
6 p.m. Opening Ceremony/Honors Initiation, West Mezzanine, Sports and Fitness Center
8 p.m. Spring semester play 1984 by George Orwell, at the UVI Little Theatre, on the second floor of the CA Building
Tuesday, April 5
St. Thomas
8:10 p.m. Caribbean Film Presentations: "Concert in the Rainforest" and "Wide Sargasso Sea," both directed by Michael Gilkes, Chase Auditorium room B-110
Wednesday, April 6
St. Thomas
5:30 p.m. Spanish Production "Estudio en Blanco y Negro" at the Rock Archives Garden near the Humanities Building
5:45 p.m. Anansi stories come to life
6 p.m. Open-Mic Night, Hosted by Mary Alexander, featuring reader Patricia Harkins-Pierre, at the Rock Archives Garden near the Humanities Building
Friday, April 8
9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Student Literary Conference with Keynote Speaker Velma Pollard, on the East Mezzanine of the Sports and Fitness Center
4-6:30 p.m. Short Story Readings and Short Story Contest Awards, featuring readings by Velma Pollard in the CA Building room 302
Saturday, April 9
"Writing on Water: Saba Island Trip" (invited participants only)

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