New generation artists strong showing for ACT Awards 2012

GREAT BAY, St. Martin — An upcoming generation of stars, and organizations headed by young people, managed to “clear de way” with eight out of 16 ACT Awards (Annual Culture Time Award) for 2012.

The awards were announced Sunday on the popular PJD2 radio program Culture Time, by host Fabian Badejo and co-host Fernando Clark, the nation’s leading humorist.

“The judges seemed to have focused on the young and promising cultural workers for the 2012 ACT Awards. Fernando Clark and I were pleasantly surprised at their choices,” said Badejo, who founded the ACT Awards some 23 years ago.

There were 40 nominees competing in 16 categories for the oldest and most consistent cultural award in St. Maarten/St. Martin.

The upcoming generation winners in cultural and youth leadership categories, at times beating the more senior artists, are Krump Soldiers (Dance), Ku-J (Music), Akeem Gumbs (Fine Art), Kerwin Du Bois for “Bacchanalist” (Foreign Song of the Year), SCDF (Cultural Organization), Teen Times (Youth Organization), Faizah Tabasamu (Rochelle Ward) (Literature), and Nadata Gentle (Fashion).

The senior cultural leaders and organizations that received an ACT Award for 2012 are Felix Fleming (Theater), DJ Patrice (DJ of the Year), Hot Chocolate Band (Band of the Year), UTS (Patron of the Year), Carlyle Barriteau (Lifetime Achievement), Dr. Rhoda Arrindell (Person of the Year), and Enoch (Chef of the Year).

“We are concerned that one of the most popular categories – ‘Song of the Year’ – was left vacant for 2012,” said Badejo, an astute observer, writer, and analyst of the nation’s cultural and socio-political developments since the early 1980s.

RochelleWard-ACT Awardee2012“Maybe the ‘Song of the Year’ category was left vacant because our radio stations haven’t played many St. Maarten songs released in 2012 by our singers and musicians. Maybe there hasn’t been much production by these artists outside of carnival,” said Badejo.

“It is also unusual for the ACT Award ‘Person of the Year’ to be a politician but no one can argue against the tremendous work that the former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs did to make July 1, Emancipation Day, a national public holiday in the South of our island, the first territory in the Dutch Kingdom to do so. This is even more important because of the 165th anniversary of Emancipation that we are celebrating island-wide in 2013,” said Badejo.

“The winners will receive certificates for the first time this year since the awards coincide with the 25th anniversary of Culture Time,” said Badejo.

Photo Caption1: Musician Carlyle Barriteau, “Lifetime Achievement” ACT Award 2012. ( photo)

Photo Caption2: Soon to be published in a new book of St. Martin poetry, Faizah Tabasamu (Rochelle Ward) won the ACT Award 2012 for “Literature.” (RW Photo)

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