The V.I. Dept. of Education announced Tuesday that St. Croix Educational Complex High School art and speech/drama students and teachers are celebrating the fifth anniversary release of the popular Virgin Islands Cultural Contributors Calendar Project. The 2022 calendar is a 13-month keepsake collection of student and educator artwork, combined with insightful interviews featuring V.I. culture bearers.
According to the release, Danica David, art teacher and Complex Fine Arts Department chairperson, along with Sayeeda Carter, speech and drama teacher, developed the idea for the calendar during the 2016-2017 school year in an effort to expose their students to community members who actively contribute to the development and expansion of Virgin Islands culture.
The Cultural Contributors featured in this year’s calendar include Richard A. Schrader, Sr., Shamari Haynes, Mada Nile, Stephanie Chalana Brown, Niarus Walker, Andre Ettienne, Monica Marin, Elwin Joseph, Jessica Parker White, Angela Golden Bryan, Alwyn Baptiste, Jr., and Jahweh David.
“Although it was challenging this past year to produce the calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and meeting with students online, we were able to complete it for 2022,” Ms. David said. “This experience allowed both students and teachers to learn more about the many contributors and document modern-day Virgin Islands culture.”
Ms. Carter, along with her students Nia George, Safia Marin, Weena Woodrup, Rashawn Phillip, Nancy Parrilla, Nylani Bernier, Elesha Hansen, Abir Al Jaloudi, and A’kanye Baptiste interviewed several contributors for the project. David and art teacher Shakir Smith, along with National Art Honor Society/Art Club student members Kristle Casey, Trissharra Knight, Nancy Parrilla, Mya Elias, and advanced art student Ke' Anna President created the artwork for the calendar.
Cultural contributors are selected to be featured in the annual calendar based on the following criteria:
- A native or resident of the Virgin Islands for a minimum of 15 years
- An active contributor to the development of Virgin Islands culture through fine arts, education, literature, and past or present history
- Thriving and still living in the U.S. Virgin Islands
One Virgin Islands Ambassador who lives off island and promotes V.I. culture was added to the list this year.
The Virgin Islands Cultural Contributors Calendar Creation and Theatrical Performance collaborative project is also a fundraiser that helps fund culturally meaningful experiences for students. The calendar is available for purchase at St. Croix Educational Complex High School.
Project organizers are seeking the community’s help with selecting the 2023 People’s Choice Cultural Contributor. Email nominee names and why they should be considered for the People’s Choice title to [email protected] or send an instant message to V.I. Cultural Contributors Calendar Project on Facebook. The submission deadline is Wednesday, April 15, 2022.