Schools — St. Thomas
Cultural Education Award Presented to St. Thomas Majorettes
The V.I. Department of Education Division of Cultural Education and the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts (VICA) presented their St. Thomas Cultural Education Awareness Award to the St. Thomas Majorettes at a brief ceremony held Monday, June 14, at Lockhart Elementary School. Glenn “Kwabena” Davis, state director of the division, presented the official certificate and Betty L. Mahoney, VICA executive director, presented a check for $3,000 to the Majorettes’ assistant director, Desha Powell. The first group to receive this joint award was the Love City Leapers at VICA’s BIG READ kick-off on Friday, Jan. 22, on St. John. The joint presentation to the Ricardo Richards School Moko Jumbies has been scheduled for later this month.
In his presentation, Davis mentioned the importance of demonstrating appreciation for the people and culture of the Virgin Islands, adding that he was satisfied with the St. Croix panel of four judges who voted unanimously for the St. Thomas Majorettes, whose depictions represented several elements of V.I. culture, including the environmental, the value of appearance in dress ways, artistic and crafts design.
Mahoney remarked that the group’s costuming, which was both very colorful and beautiful, showed a great deal of creativity and modesty that reflected Virgin Islands pride in dress. In addition, she stated that the varied components of performance during the Carnival parade clearly depicted numerous aspects of V.I. culture. She said she was, “very pleased with your commitment to ensuring positive, exemplary and culturally relevant presentations.”
in her acceptance remarks, Powell, surrounded by dozens of the majorettes, thanked both agencies, and promised to keep the standards high and to further ensure that at home and abroad, the culture of the territory is displayed and well represented. She added that next week the majorettes will travel to Washington, D.C. for participation in the Washington, D.C. Caribbean Festival.
Davis said it would be three years before any of these winners would become eligible to compete for this award. Accordingly, he implores future competitors to keep the standards high and remain focused on the colorful and intellectual aspects of Virgin Islands culture in order to be in contention for this new and coveted prize.