The Art of Storytelling

This year, the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) will celebrate 20 years of storytelling with Gimistory, a cultural festival that provides free family entertainment to all.

The week-long event is slated to amuse and enthrall residents and visitors of the Cayman Islands, travelling from district to district and highlighting both local and regional storytellers and entertainers such as Amina Blackwood-Meeks from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago’s calypso band David Bereaux and Friends, and local acts Matt Brown, Quincy Brown and Virginia Foster, amongst others.

Set on Cayman’s picturesque beaches, open fields and family parks, Gimistory is a family tradition for Caymanians and is often regarded as an informal prologue to the Christmas season. Coupled with crisp Christmas breezes and twinkling fairy lights are the crackle of a wood-burning caboose stove, the lingering aroma of fried fish and the sounds of animated voices telling a tale or two.

“We’re revisiting the art of storytelling,” beamed Marcia Muttoo, managing director of CNCF. “Storytelling was the main community entertainment and means of transferring cultural mores before the advent of radio and television. By its very nature, the festival celebrates the arts of communication – talking and listening – and of conveying information, whether lighthearted or profound.

“Gimistory was created in 1999 with the vision of passing on the tradition of storytelling, building the local population of storytellers, sharing a variety of stories – and stories through music – from Cayman to the world, celebrating local and culture and encouraging community involvement in the arts.”

Every year, the festival brings over 2,500 people together from virtually every sector of Cayman’s multi-generational, multi-national community, in addition to visitors from abroad, who return time and again. It is often considered one of the best festivals of its kind in the world.

And it’s happening right here in the Cayman Islands.

Throughout this ancient art, homegrown and international storytellers will share stories that illuminate their heritage, explore myths and legens, incite laughter and invoke drama and wonderment. It is an event not to be missed.

Whilst a limited number of chairs will be provided at each location, attendees are encouraged to bring along their own chairs, blankets and coolers, as well as a small amount of cash to purchase food and beverages.

For more information, visit artscayman.org/gimistory.

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