Anancy Children’s Reading Festival Brings Cultural Storytelling to Island SPACE Caribbean Museum

“Queen” Maxine Osbourne as Mrs. Anancy entertaining a group of kids at the 2023 Anancy Festival at Island SPACE Caribbean Museum. | Photo by RJ Deed (Content Factory)

PLANTATION – For a fun-filled finale to Caribbean American Heritage Month this June, families across South Florida are invited to enjoy a day of Caribbean cultural activities as the annual Anancy Festival returns. Presented in partnership with Jamaicans.com, this annual children’s reading festival celebrating the rich storytelling traditions of the Caribbean will be held for the third time at Island SPACE on Saturday, June 29, 2024, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Families with young children are invited to join in for an afternoon filled with stories of mischief and redemption, learning and fun.

Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, June 29, 2024
  • Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Venue: Island SPACE Caribbean Museum, 8000 W. Broward Blvd, Plantation, FL
  • Free Tickets: Available at www.islandspacefl.org/anancy2024

Anancy, is a trickster known for outsmarting formidable opponents. Popular across the Caribbean and African diasporas, stories of his escapades typically teach valuable life lessons.

Anancy Festival co-founder Xavier Murphy at Island Space Caribbean Museum
Anancy Festival co-founder Xavier Murphy (center) working on a craft project with kids at Anancy Festival 2023. | Photo by RJ Deed (Content Factory).

The Anancy Festival was created by Xavier Murphy, founder of Jamaicans.com, educator Cathy Klein and Dr. Andrea Shaw, Dean of Nova Southeastern University’s Farquhar Honors College. Since 2008, the festival has connected children of Caribbean descent. In addition, those who enjoy diverse cultures, with West Indian traditions, through story, song, dance, art and other art forms.

The Anancy Festival has become a global phenomenon, with installations hosted in Africa, Jamaica, Washington DC and Florida.

The festival celebrates the legacy of the spider man Anancy (also spelled Anansi or Ananse), a character from West African folklore known for his cleverness and trickery. It aims to inspire a love for reading and cultural heritage among young children.

Festival Highlights:

  • Storytelling Sessions: Listen to enchanting tales of Anancy, the mischievous spider, and other cultural stories that teach valuable life lessons.
  • Cultural Story Sharing: Families are encouraged to share stories from their own cultures, fostering a sense of community and multicultural appreciation.
  • Arts and Crafts: Engage in creative activities inspired by Caribbean motifs and traditions.
  • Traditional Caribbean Ring Games: Learn and play fun, traditional Caribbean games with other children.
  • Family-Friendly Environment: Enjoy an afternoon of laughter, learning, and bonding with other families.

Armande “Mandy” Laguerre, museum manager of Island SPACE, expressed her enthusiasm for the festival, saying, “The Anancy Festival is a magical event that brings families together through the art of storytelling. We are, once again, thrilled to host this festival and provide a platform for children to learn about and celebrate Caribbean culture in a fun and interactive way.”

Museum president Calibe Thompson leads families on a tour of the museum. | Photo by RJ Deed (Content Factory).

Community Support

The Anancy Festival is made possible in part by the Broward County Cultural Division, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Broward County Cultural Division, “King” George Jograj, Dr. Lydia Malcom of Authentic Behavioral Health LLC, and her husband, Mr. Waynewright Malcolm, and the following funds at the Community Foundation of Broward: Judith Cornfeld Fund for the Arts, Helen and Frank Stoykov Charitable Endowment Fund, The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation Broward Community Fund and Samuel F. Morrison Community Impact Fund.

Additional Kid-Friendly Activities in June

Also during Caribbean-American Heritage Month, each Saturday, kids aged 6-12 can participate in the Youth Traditional Folk Dance Workshop. Presented in partnership with the Louise Bennett-Coverley Heritage Council Inc, the series of classes held Saturdays in June and July from 3 – 5pm. It is led by expert instructors, will educate kids in the traditional art quadrille and maypole dance. Learn more at https://islandspacefl.org/quadrille.

 

Island SPACE – Why Our Caribbean Museum is Important