Passionate’ pair win performing arts scholarships
A pair of technical arts students yesterday shared the spotlight as the recipients of scholarships in performing arts.
Ryan Day, 18, and 29-year-old Zawditu Maryam were each awarded $3,000 as the winners of the Nadanja and Nishanthi N’tertainment Scholarship.
Mr Day said it was “pretty surreal” when he found out his application was successful.
He added: “A lot of people look up to Nadanja and Nishanthi.
“I’m just really happy that they looked at me in this way and offered me this lovely scholarship.”
Mr Day, a former Saltus pupil, is in his first year of the theatre lighting design programme at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.
He said he wanted to light shows on Broadway in New York City or London’s West End within the next five years.
Mr Day added: “After that, when I have everything established and I’m comfortable, I want to come back to Bermuda.”
Ms Maryam, a former CedarBridge Academy pupil, said it was “enthralling and exciting” to learn she had been selected.
She is a student at Acadia University in Canada on its theatre programme, specialising in technical theatre. She is due to graduate in 2019.
Ms Maryam said: “I want to get my teaching certifications so that I can become a theatre teacher here in Bermuda.”
She returned to Acadia last autumn after a break of several years where she came back to Bermuda to work and also became a mother.
The scholarship fund was created by brother and sister Nadanja and Nishanthi Bailey.
The pair, well-known fixtures of Bermuda’s performing arts, have handed out more than $20,000 in scholarships since it was founded in 2014.
The scholarships are designed to encourage university students to pursue education in arts-related disciplines, including dance, theatre and more.
Mr Bailey explained: “As long as it’s in the arts, we want to help further your education.”
Ms Bailey said that Mr Day and Ms Maryam’s interest in behind-the-scenes aspects of the performing arts were just as important as those in the spotlight.
She added: “They light up our lives — without them no one can see us.”
Ms Bailey said the two were selected by a committee from a field of 13 applicants.
Mr Bailey said it was the passion of the pair that made them stand out.
He explained: “When they spoke to us in the interview process, we could just feel that they are all about this.
“For us, when I put on a show, I can now hire these guys to come and do the technical side of it.”
Mr Bailey said that support for arts education was important because of the cross section of the island population it could impact.
He said: “People in Bermuda, no matter what field they work in, love to be entertained.
“So we want to keep people who are talented going. We want them to commit to their passion.”
Much of the money for the scholarships comes from the Baileys own earnings.
Ms Bailey said: “Any show that we do, a percentage goes towards the scholarship.”
She added that this year the scholarship benefited from support from Bermuda Restaurant Group and rum firm Goslings.
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