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The University of the West Indies (The UWI) is hosting the Grand Finale of the We Rise Talent Showcase this weekend, putting the performing arts front and center.
Today Saturday, 15 talented performers from across The UWI community will compete for top spots and cash prizes in the virtual talent showcase.
The We Rise Talent Showcase, a UWI 75th anniversary commemorative event, seeks to celebrate the performing arts and foster camaraderie in honor of The UWI’s Diamond Jubilee anniversary.
The finalists were selected from among staff, students, alumni, and retirees who submitted video auditions showcasing their talent in dance, music, singing (voice), and performance arts such as drama, comedy, poetry, puppetry, and spoken word. Dr. Maurice D. Smith, the University Registrar, who is also the Chair of The UWI’s 75th Anniversary Planning Committee, encourages broad participation from The UWI community and the public.
He explains that the We Rise Talent Showcase is a celebratory and commemorative event as the University marks its 75th anniversary. More importantly, the event has created a platform for developing performance talents, facilitating entertainment industry connections, and showcasing The UWI’s creative abilities and rich culture to the world.
The finalists in the Performance Arts category include Sherisse Bideshi, Suzette Edwards, Shimiah Lewis, Joel Phillip, and Isaiah Stokes, all from the St. Augustine Campus, and Katherine Johnson from the Mona Campus. Vocalists from the Cave Hill Campus include Reniece Bonnett, Shernell Clarke, Blestina Charles, and Terisha Gilbert. Lee-San Gayle and Orane Green from the Mona Campus, and Athalia Crump and Jerod Griffith representing the Five Islands and St. Augustine campuses, respectively.
The only dance act at the Grand Finale will be performed by Dr. Rakhee from the Mona Campus. A panel of experienced and qualified judges will determine who will take the top three spots. Dr. Josephine Torrel-Brown, an educator, researcher, and consultant in arts, culture, and education, will serve as the Head Judge.
She will be joined by Anderson ‘Mr Blood’ Armstrong, a 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 for the event include The UWI Institutional Advancement Division (IAD) and The UWI Credit Union.