Awards 2012



The 2012 Awards announcement presents the names of the individuals and the designations of their honor. Our Awardees represent distinct accomplishments in education, the arts, community activism, and as cultural enablers. Their geographic locations include Guyana, the Caribbean, Canada and the United States of America.

The Lifetime Award goes to Marilyn Dewar, a Music Educator with national impact and influence in both the secular and religious sectors for decades. Ms. Dewar has also demonstrated entrepreneurial skills and success with the establishment and growth of her music academy.

The Exemplary award acknowledges two contemporary stalwarts of Masquerade. Desmond Vivierios and Andron Alphonso were selected for the Exemplary Award. They continue to keep the masquerade art form alive with their special creative skills.

Overall, we have an excellent representation of individuals. They contribute directly in the areas of education, the performing arts, the thematic art form – Masquerade, civic duty in various domains, and the delineation of Guyanese creativity with depth of uniqueness or distinctiveness. We are very proud of them.


· Andron Alphonso – Exemplary
· Charmaine Blackman – Performing Artiste
· Derry Etkins – Educator
· Desmond “Putagee” Vivierios – Exemplary
· Elrich A. Eastman – Community (posthumous)
· Joseph Burgan-Trotman – Performing Artiste
· Lear Matthews – Educator
· Lionel Blackett – Performing Artiste
· Marilyn Dewar – Lifetime Achievement
· Maurice Blenman – Cultural Enabler
· Alissa Trotz – Educator
· Mel Carpen – Cultural Enabler
· Rosalind Kilkenny McLymont – Cultural Enabler

Ronald H. Lammy
Chair, GCA Awards Committee


Background: Masquerade, rooted in African festive custom, has been and continues to be, an art form primarily expressed through street performance that traces its development and survival to multi cultural traditions. Emerging in Guyana before emancipation, this “new world” phenomenon is characterized by melodious rhythms, with the principal dance performers including flouncers, Mad Bull, Mother Sally and later additions, Bam Bam Sally and Stilt dancers. They dance energetically to the fife, the snare (aka kittle) drum, the tenor drum, and the steel or triangle. The brightly colored costumes represent the festive mood, while characters, such as Mother Sally parodied the colonial ruling class, thus providing at least temporary psychological and visceral relief. In the colonial and postcolonial history of our country the dancing, music and general participation reflect the ethnic inclusivity of masquerade. The melding of African, East Indian and European cultures features prominently in the festivities. Earlier characters such as Barbadian “Joe Flounce”; “Goblet Joe”; flautist extraordinaire, and later ones like “Potagee”; dance steps influenced by “Scotts Boy”, and new performers in contemporary Guyana masquerade, the peacock and vaquero, are testimony to the Diasporic nature of this unique art form. It is this tradition, survived to the 21st century, that the Guyana Cultural Association will highlight this year. Indeed, Masquerade Lives! The Awards

Ceremony: An Annual Event Guyanese nationals receive the Lifetime Achievement Award; individuals are acknowledged with the Exemplary Award; and organizations and commercial entities are accorded the Guyana Cultural Association Award. Youth awardees are either born in Guyana, or have at least one parent who is Guyanese, or of Guyanese descent. Since 2001 the Guyana Cultural Association of New York has been the leader in recognizing those who have inspired us. This year’s awards ceremony will be held at the usual venue in Brooklyn, New York on August 29, 2012. We will acclaim creators and enablers who exemplify characteristics embodied in the history and sustainability of the Masquerade art form. We seek to acknowledge those whose work demonstrates features of perseverance that led to transcendence from hurt to pleasure that enriched the Guyanese society. The winning nominations will show that the spirit of Masquerade Lives. We will herald Masquerade stalwarts to proclaim that Masquerade occupies a permanent place in our performing arts culture.

Award Categories: Our awards celebrate outstanding contributors in the following categories: • Guyana Cultural Association Award • Guyana Cultural Association Award – Youth • Guyana Cultural Association Exemplary Award • Guyana Cultural Association Lifetime Achievement Award

What We Do – Nominations Are Open June 16th to July 9th 2012 Request nominations from anyone or entity and assess the submissions that are complete and on time. Nomination can be submitted for a person or an entity whose work fits within the theme – Masquerade Lives! Youth nominations must detail the academic and extracurricular accomplishments that position the nominee above the average in his or her area of scholastic and cultural activities.

Selection Criteria: A selection committee evaluates each nomination considering seven criteria: originality, scope, impact / influence, integration, pioneering spirit, challenges and achievements. We choose honorees based on: How much their work has improved their community; or enhanced Guyanese society in general. The impact their contributions have had on creative presentations associated with Guyanese. Confirmation that their effort meets a distinction considered an exemplary model that can inspire others. How their creativity embodies positive cultural attributes that Guyanese admire, or honor, or preserve. The contribution by the Awardee that represents characteristics at a high level of skill. The range of activity can cover a wide array of positive deeds.

For more details Tel: 718 209 5207

Nominations Are Open: June 16th to July 9th, 2012

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