The UWI Celebrates 75 – Culture and Performing Arts take centre stage this weekend

by November 17, 2023

Performing arts take centre stage at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) this weekend with the Grand Finale of the We Rise Talent Showcase. Fifteen talented performers from across the ‘UWIverse’ will vie for the top spots and cash prizes in the virtual talent showcase on Saturday, November 18, 2023. Members of the public and all interested persons are invited to view live via from 6:00 pm (Jamaica/EST)/ 7:00 pm (Eastern Caribbean/AST).

The We Rise Talent Showcase is a UWI 75th anniversary commemorative event that aims to celebrate the performing arts and build camaraderie on the occasion of The UWI’s Diamond Jubilee anniversary. Finalists were selected from among staff, students, alumni and retirees who submitted video auditions displaying talent in dance, music, singing (voice) and performance arts – drama, comedy, poetry, puppetry and spoken word.

Encouraging wide participation from The UWI community and the public, University Registrar Dr Maurice D. Smith, Chair of The UWI’s 75th Anniversary Planning Committee said “The We Rise Talent Showcase is of course celebratory and commemorative as we mark our 75th anniversary. More strategically however, it has created a much-needed platform for developing performance talents, facilitating entertainment industry connections, and showcasing our creative abilities and rich culture to the world.”

The finalists in the category Performance Arts are Sherisse Bideshi, Suzette Edwards, Shimiah Lewis, Joel Phillip, and Isaiah Stokes all of the St. Augustine Campus and Katherine Johnson, Mona Campus. Vocalists from the Cave Hill Campus are Reniece Bonnett, Shernell Clarke, Blestina Charles and Terisha Gilbert; Lee-San Gayle, Orane Green of the Mona Campus, and Athalia Crump and Jerod Griffith representing the Five Islands and St. Augustine campuses respectively. Dr. Rakhee of the Mona Campus will perform the only dance act at the Grand Finale.

Determining who will take the top three spots is an experienced and qualified panel of judges. Dr Josephine Torrel-Brown, Educator, Researcher and Consultant in arts, culture and education will serve as the Head Judge. She will be joined by Anderson ‘Mr Blood’ Armstrong, Barbadian Entertainer; Michael Holgate Artistic Director and Head of The UWI’s Phillip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts; Carla W. Springer Hunte, Cultural Consultant and Manager of the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination; and Nadean Rawlins, Director and Producer.

Prize sponsors include The UWI Institutional Advancement Division (IAD) and The UWI Credit Union.

Visit the official website to learn more about the We Rise Talent Showcase.

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