Interview with Sandy Isaacs, Co-organizer, Anancy Festival 2012 Orlando, Florida

This week we have a conversation with Interview with Sandy Isaacs, Co-organizer, Anancy Festival 2012 Orlando, Florida. The Anancy festival is June 9th, 2012. Here is our conversation with Sandy.

What Caribbean Country are you from?

Tell us about Anancy Fest 2012 Orlando Florida? How did it get started? How did you get involve?
Received info, from Xavier Murphy about 2 years ago about the Anancy Festival being held in South Florida and had the interest in learning more about it especially since I often present cultural events here in Orlando

What is the main goal of the festival?
To share of the Jamaican/Caribbean culture in conjunction with recognizing Caribbean American Heritage Month.  There is also a literary focus and a promotion of reading interest as well.

What can we expect this year? 
A GREAT event that brings attention to the various facets of Caribbean culture and Anancy Fables and folk lore. A strong portrayal of the Jamaican/Caribbean culture at the event and a promotion of reading niterest.

What does Anancy mean to you? 
Fond memories of ‘Anancy Stories’ shared in Jamaica growing up

What does Caribbean American Heritage month mean to you?
It means that there is now a formal recognition of the contributions which Caribbean people have made to the United States in helping to build this country. This is most definitely a good thing in that it gives us more of the well-deserved positive attention that is needed for our impact made on the country of our residence. (for America)

Do you think there is enough being done to pass on Caribbean and African history to the next generation?
I believe that we are working harder at showcasing our culture in a positive manner and are more encouraged by each other than ever before to keep that cultural emphasis alive for ourselves as well as the next generation.  We do need to continue to make every effort to reinforce and build on this to further propel the overall interest of our culture. It should be a consistent, ongoing effort.

The festival this year is in four cities and growing. Where do you see the festival 5 years from now (main organizer question)?
It will most likely at least double in number for where it will be presented especially, since there is a greater focus on our Caribbean cultural heritage and its ever growing recognition of its significance. Additionally, given the quality of the program and its presentation, there will be an innate interest from various respective communities and its members to have it presented in their own city.

What other projects and events are you working on? 
An exhaustive amount of Break Away Moments events and more.  Seriously, I have a few Break Away Moments events upcoming in May, June and July as well as several projects in the local community here in Orlando with which I am involved such as an upcoming fundraiser to benefit the New Hope Orphanage for babies in Jamaica as well as to benefit an educational cause on a local level for a Jamaican young lady going to school here, the planning and preparation for the launch of a new Jamaica/USA Chamber of Commerce Chapter in Orlando and the putting together of the ‘Jamaicans In Business’ magazine which will debut later this year as published by my company….Whew!
When you are not busy with work and projects what do you do to relax?
Enjoy my standing ‘Date Night’ with the special gentleman in my life:), read in spurts, I love to dance so I’ dance around to music at home, enjoy other peoples events and love on my family.  I also am a big scrabble enthusiast and I enjoy watching movies (when I don’t actually fall asleep), I LOVE going too to Jazz Concerts and for sure, DINING OUT!  I love eating out in wonderful places and having a variety of ethnic cuisines. But, there are times that I simply enjoy doing absolutely nothing but reflecting and going into quiet inspirational modes!  ‘Chilling out’ is so good!

My favorite Caribbean author is —-
Owen James (because I know him personally and that makes a nice difference…He is the author of ‘Jamaican by Birth, Amercian by Choice’ (you’ll have to google him)

My comfort food is—-
Shrimp with Garlic Sauce, Five Flavored Shrimp…(in fact, anything with shrimp), Chinese food, any kind of Jamaican Soup, good ackee and saltfish, chocolates,

If I wanted to impress someone visiting my city I would take them to—
International Drive which is in the heart of the tourist industry…it’s upbeat and alive with a variety of things to do and wonderful dining places too….has a nice ‘buzz’ daily and too it has a street named ‘Jamaican Court’ (how cool is that?)

Thanks for the time. Where can we learn more about the Anancy festival ?
On my website at





About the author

Denise Lee