Persons attending the seventh annual Louise Bennett-Coverley Reading Festival will enjoy an evening of rich cultural performances to be staged on Saturday (February 1), starting at 2:00 p.m., at the Broward College Performing Cultural Arts Theater, South Campus located at 7300 Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines.
Under the patronage of Jamaica’s Consul General, Franz Hall, the event will feature one of Jamaica’s cultural icon and accomplished cultural actress, Marguerite Newland who will share perspectives of her relationship with the late Hon. Louise Bennett Coverley “Miss Lou” OJ, MBE. (1919-2006), former international cultural ambassador. Ms. Newland, communication consultant and broadcaster has had a wide range of experience in the dramatic arts since she began performing in 1968. Her theatre profile include works with notables such as Basil Dawkins, Easton, Oliver, Oliver Samuels among others.
The event is free to the public, and is titled “Her Drums Keep Sounding” and forms part of the annual schedule of activities for the Library’s celebration of Black History Month. Entertainment will be provided from a selection of notable Jamaican artists from the South Florida Diasporic community including the Jamaica Folk Revue, the Tallawah Mento Band and the Jamindian Band & Dancers, and others who had worked with the cultural icon and international renowned folklorist, comedienne, author, and social commentator during her long and expansive career.
The Festival will also serve as a platform for the launch of “Ode to Miss Lou….from the Soul of Dr. Sue”, a compilation of 50 poems written over the years by educator Dr. Suzan Lycett Davis. The pieces were inspired by her Jamaican culture, and folkloric and life experiences.
The annual Reading Festival was started in 2007 by Mrs. Norma Darby, former Executive Director of the Jamaica Folk Revue, following the death of Miss Lou who passed away at age 86 years old in Toronto, Canada. Ms. Lou was buried at the Jamaica’s National Heroes Park in Kingston.
Proceeds from sales of Miss Lou’s works – books, CDs, and other memorabilia will continue to support of the Louise Bennett Coverley Scholarship tenable at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston. The scholarship was named, posthumously, in honor of Jamaica’s cultural ambassador and is awarded to a student at the college pursuing studies in the performing arts. To date, six students have been recipients of the scholarship at the Schools of Drama and Dance, and Music.
The Festival is supported by the South Regional Broward Library, the Friends of the Library, and the Broward College in collaboration with several local Jamaican-owned companies and associates