Anancy’s visit to Orlando a success at the 2012 Anancy Festival: A Caribbean-American Heritage Month Event

The Anancy Festival in Orlando was well received by the audience which was comprised of both young and old attendees ranging greatly in age groups.

The audience appreciated the viewing of ‘Anancy & Baldhead Chicky‘, an animated film produced by Lukkee Chong and Max Earle which portrayed Anancy up to his ‘tricks‘ as usual, followed by the ‘Itsy Bitsy‘ Spider Fingerplay which was done by Sandy Isaacs to keep the young children actively engaged.

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The 'Anancy Story' read by Jennifer Copeland who additionally performed renditions of Miss Lou in typical fashion while decked out in her 'Jamaican checkered bandana outfit' brought about giggles as well as full laughter from the appreciative audience.

Laughter also filled the room when young Gabriel (son of Anabella Seaga-Mian) shared his unique version of how he would be a ‘trickster‘ like Anancy to get his wish for a long hoped for toy by ‘hiding all his toys away so that it would seem like he had none and his family would feel sorry for him and buy him the toy he had been wanting‘. It was apparent that he really grasped the perspective as to just how clever Anancy tries to be in the stories.

Simone Vranov-Brown who is 19-yrs old and in the Pro-Tennis Circuit, shared her abstract artwork entitled ‘Anancy – The Juggler‘ for all to see. It served as a great visual aid especially for some of the younger children present who sought to incorporate her version into their individual drawings when asked to create an Anancy picture of their own. The children were very pleased with their pictures which they proudly showcased to the audience as a group line-up.

The children were also thrilled when Shana Simpson (Miss Orlando Caribbean) spent time talking with them about growing up in Jamaica and her fond memories of hearing numerous ‘Anancy Stories‘. She took the time to also remind the children however, that one never usually gets away with being ‘conniving‘ especially, with Caribbean parents in charge. She advised them that ‘just like Anancy, they wouldn’t get away with it’.

Marsha Wilson who shared upbeat and very humorous original Jamaican poetry was a definite hit as well. Bountiful laughter filled the room at her performances.

David Mullings spoke about the ‘Crayons Count‘ initiative as the children utilized their crayons to create a ‘Colorful Anancy‘ of their own. The point was well made about the need for everyday school supplies throughout Jamaica’s Basic Schools as what our children take for granted, others have such a strong need for in some school settings.

David Taylor (Young Entrepreneur) addressed the audience and shared tips on growing up ‘Jamaican‘ along with Candice Buchanan who spoke about her background and her days as a TV Show Host in Jamaica with the current focus of school with a major in Film Production.

Everyone stepped back in time when a brief clip from ‘A Tribute to the Jamaican Folk Singers‘ was shown with Olive Lewin and other members of the Jamaican Folk Singers speaking about their experiences with the coming together of the group. We were able to see our very own Clover Batts on screen (who is very much missed in the Orlando community since her return to live in beloved Jamaica) as part of the group on screen singing along with the rest of the members in the very early beginning of the group. Dave Lewin and his daughter Tanya were recognized in the audience as family members to Olive Lewin (Founder of Jamaican Folk Singers).

The event wrapped up with the added bonus of Steve Higgins of Dem’ 3 Jamaican Tenors performing to top the afternoon off and swooning the audience!

The feedback from those who attended the Anancy Festival in Orlando has been phenomenal and very encouraging as an impetus for being involved in the event once again next year.”, said Sandy Isaacs, Owner/CEO Break Away Moments and organizer of Anancy Festival Orlando, “It was especially pleasing to see the combination of a vast age group of Jamaicans appreciating the gamuts of the event which bore a strong emphasis on Anancy, Jamaica, our Caribbean culture and more“.

Among those who attended the event were Icy & Owen James (Author of ‘Jamaican By Birth, American By Choice), Kaye Hanna, Camille & Ricky Neath (, Marjorie Brown (Founder of Jamaican American Assoc. of Central Florida), Sista Sharon (Island Riddim Radio), George Franklin Smith, Heather Chisholm (Image Caribbean Cultural Society), Pauline Jathan (Mark’s Caribbean Cuisiine), Rev. Linton Morris & Dr. Rose Morris (Declare His Praise Radio Show) and Yolan Zanders (Former Marketing Manager of VP Records) to name a few.

The Anancy Festival 2012 was held in five cities from the USA to Jamaica to Kenya on Saturday, June 9th, 2012. The event took place in the following five cities: Pembroke Pine, Florida; Orlando, Florida; Washington D.C.; Nairobi, Kenya; Kingston, Jamaica. The festival was simulcast between each city giving attendees an opportunity to see performances at different locations.

The Anancy Festival, named for Anansi, the West African trickster of folklore, is a celebration of Caribbean-American culture that’s geared toward children and teens. The festival provides a unique way for youngsters to learn about their cultural heritage and experience a rich collection of stories, music and dance.

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