Above Images by Pepper Key Stacie
The second Saturday of every month you can find a Turks and Caicos farmer's/artists market at the Graceway Gourmet. Local arts and craft vendor regulars include Ginger from Sea Glass Shack, artist and handbag designer Jennifer Maude, jewelry designer Atelys Adrian, woven handcrafts from the Middle Caicos Co-Op, TCSPCA gifts and goodies, Cheryl, the sewing machine queen, fashionable jewelry collections from Trem Jocale, yours truly and many more. Every month we choose an island charity in need to support and this Saturday we had a very special guest performance in thanks by the Edward C. Gartland Youth Center. This amazing group of students were led by the incredibly talented Shara Bowen (pictured in the middle of the group photo with glasses) Shara and her husband David, the country's Director of Culture, are a tireless, constant driving force in keeping the history of these islands, especially of the arts, alive and well in the Turks and Caicos Islands. I applaud them both immensely. The fruits of their labors are especially moving to watch in the young peoples performances, where the traditions of old are breathed back to life.
Image courtesy of Meghans Africa blogThe inspiring drumming, dancing, and singing will stay in the audiences minds, perhaps for years to come for one special viewer, Meghan O'Reilly. Meghan took on the position of director for the Youth Center upon it's birth in the spring of 2008 after volunteering in Southern Africa for Grassroot Soccer Org, and she is a huge part of it's success today. This performance marked Meghans last as director as she leaves for a new adventure in Mauritius Island. I think I speak for a very large part of the community when I say thank you Meghan for all your outpourings of hard work, energy, hope, and care into the center. You will be greatly missed! Bon voyage and best wishes!