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CCP announces 1st Gador Awards

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AGNES Locsin

The wealth and world-class artistry of artists in Mindanao was the focus of the recent announcement of awardees of the 1st Gador Awards. Among the distinguished recipients this year are Joey Ayala, Dr. Steven P.C. Fernandez, Nestor Horfilla, Agnes Locsin, Sunnie Noel, Maria Wanan Todi, Integrated Performing Arts Guild and Sining Kambayoka Ensemble.

The announcement was made by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Kaisa Sa Sining (KSS) Mindanao. The Kaisa sa Sining Regional Arts Centers is a partnership program of the CCP through its Cultural Exchange Department (CED) that was launched in 2014 and is aimed at strengthening further the CCP’s linkages and cooperation with regional educational institutions,
non-government organizations and local government units in order to broaden public participation in the arts, promote and showcase artistic excellence and facilitate a vibrant collaboration between and among communities. In the past six years, the cooperation and exchanges between and among CCP and the KSS network have become more dynamic.

JOEY Ayala
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF CCP

To date, the KSS network has already grown to a total of 50 organizations in 46 areas/communities in the regions: 19 in Luzon, 14 in Visayas and 17 in Mindanao.

The Gador Awards: A Salute and Gratitude to Outstanding Mindanao Artists, Cultural Workers and Organizations, was one of the action plans and projects that the KSS Mindanao agreed to implement during a KSS regional forum held in Koronadal City in 2018.

To fulfill this plan, the CCP CED facilitated the conceptualization and planning of the project. In early June 2019, a five-member technical working committee (TWC) was formed by the CED composed of key representatives from four KSS Mindanao organizations with CED as the lead facilitator.

The program guidelines were made and disseminated to all the KSS Mindanao network in August 2019. The nomination period was from August 2019 to January 2020. The Selection Committee was formed in December 2019 composed of prominent leaders/artists/practitioners from various communities and sectors in Mindanao. The final deliberation and selection was held on 13 February 2020 in Davao de Oro.

The Gador Award aims to give recognition to deserving Mindanao individuals and/or organizations who have exemplified commendable work and services in cultural and artistic endeavors, and have been in the forefront of the research, development, preservation, education and promotion of arts and culture in Mindanao for at least 10 years or more.

On the importance of recognizing the achievements of the artists, cultural workers and organizations in Mindanao? Felimon Blanco, artistic director of Teatro Guindengan of La Salle University Ozamiz City, which is one of the KSS Mindanao, shared, “Mindanao is always celebrated through the ingenious works of its highly artistic and creative people. But rarely has it been given national prominence due to its ‘distance’ from the ‘center.’

“The Mindanao experiences are very distinct as these celebrate the rich cultural heritage and vibrant artistic practices of the region. Recognizing the people behind these initiatives in Mindanao means elevating these for the rest of the world to take notice of the artistic excellence and cultural integrity of grounded artists and cultural workers. The Gador Award will create a stamp in the history of Mindanao arts and culture, that highlight exemplary works and advocacies that are worth emulating. It is hoped that this will inspire the next generation of Mindanao artist-leaders to continue practicing high artistry and cultural integrity in their works that are grounded on peoples’ traditions in Mindanao.”

Due to the present quarantine and travel restrictions, the GADOR Awards Ceremony is being held virtually. It began on 2 July and is ongoing up to 16 July from the home base of the awardees. For more information, contact the CCP CED at tel. no. (632-8) 832-3674 and 832-1125 locals 1708-1709 or email at ccp.ced2014@gmail.com.

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