On August 23 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm, CHS will celebrate the completion of Mas Camp, our summer youth employment program. At the event, the teens will receive their certificates of completion, and will perform their dance routine in costume. The event is free and includes a sampling of Caribbean foods.
Ten teens, along with many community volunteers, have spent six weeks learning to design, make, and perform with Caribbean Carnival costumes, carrying on the traditions of Mas – Trinidad-style Carnival masquerade. Under the guidance of master costume maker Keimani “Q” Delpeche, each teen designed and built a complete costume, including headpiece, arm and foot bands, girdles, collars, backpacks, and all frames and attachments needed for wearing the elaborate structures. Dance teacher Clerona Cain trained the students in “displaying” their costumes in a dance routine. The teens have formed a Carnival band that will perform at the Wadsworth Atheneum Caribbean Block Party, the Taste of the Caribbean Festival at the Riverfront, and at the 54th annual West Indian Independence Day Parade and Festival.
The Mas Camp program is a seven-year collaboration between the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program at the CHS, and the CT International Cultural Carnival Association under the direction of Linford “Junior” Miller. We are honored to have been selected as one of fifty exemplary youth arts programs by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in a nationwide competition this year.
Special thanks go to our dedicated funders including the West Indian Independence Celebration Committee, the Board of the Connecticut Historical Society, Ellen M. Brown, the UConn-Caribbean Initiative, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the CT Office of the Arts/DECD.