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  • National Academy for the Performing Arts – Trinidad & Tobago

    Posted on July 29th, 2009 Architempo 2 comments
    National Academy for the Performing Arts - Trinidad

    National Academy for the Performing Arts - Trinidad

    Project Information
    Location: Port of Spain, Trinidad
    Design & Build – Shanghai Construction Group
    Project Managers – UDeCOTT
    Estimated Cost – US$60 million
    Executing Agency – Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs

    The National Academy for the Performing Arts is currently under construction in the capital city of Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. It will be the permanent home for the development of the Performing Arts, with particular focus on our national instrument, the steel pan, which was born in the 1940’s in Trinidad & Tobago. It is the only acoustic musical instrument invented during the 20th century. Besides the steelpan, Trinidad and Tobago is also the birthplace of calypso (music). The steel pan developed from a “rustic invention of the urban poor into an astonishingly versatile musical instrument, a transformation that for many Trinidadians symbolizes their progress from colony to independent nation.” (Dudley, Shannon. 2002).

    National Academy for the Performing Arts

    National Academy for the Performing Arts

    The architectural design of the Academy is reminiscent of the Chaconia, the national flower of Trinidad and Tobago. The grand building will rise up to 100 feet enhancing the state-of-the-art acoustics, and offering an inspirational setting for the enjoyment and training of the performance arts.

    The 429,093 sq. ft. facility will feature:

    • A 1500 seat acoustically designed performance hall
    • Two practice halls
    • Teaching rooms
    • State of the art lighting and sound features
    • Stages designed to showcase pannists and other performance artistes
    • A hotel (for visiting performers)
    • Parking and
    • Landscaped surroundings including seating areas, water features and greenery.
    Academy of Performance Arts (under construction)

    Academy of Performance Arts (under construction)

    Having visited the site, I am impressed with the scale and the design of the project thus far. I applaud the commitment to support the Arts by providing a spectacular home for them. I see this project as an opportunity for Trinidad and Tobago to promote Cultural Tourism. A growing number of tourists are forsaking the Mediterranean beaches for the palm-fringed delights of Asia and the Caribbean.

    What is Cultural Tourism? It is defined as ‘the movement of persons to cultural attractions away from their normal place of residence, with the intention to gather new information and experiences to satisfy their cultural needs’ (Richards, G. 1996). It is an “important way to celebrate, preserve and promote a state’s unique heritage, increase opportunities for artists, promote public arts participation and boost economic development” according to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. I look forward to the completion, and more importantly, the putting to use of the Academy as it sets the stage for cultural projects, and becomes the stage on which we promote this part of our culture.
    …more images

    References

    Noel, Vernelle. A New Parliament Complex for Trinidad & Tobago: The Architecture of the Calypso Culture. Diss. Howard University, December 2006.

    Dudley, Shannon. The Steelband “Own Tune”: Nationalism, Festivity, and Musical Strategies in Trinidad’s Panorama Competition; Black Music Research Journal, Vol. 22, 2002.

    Sankar, Celia. Soaring Scales of the Silver Basin; Americas (English Edition), Vol. 49, July-August 1997.

    Richards, G. Cultural Tourism in Europe. CABI, Wallingford 1996.

    http://www.udecott.com/index.php/cc/cc_project_item/national_academy_for_the_performing_arts_port_of_spain/

    http://www.nasaa-arts.org/artworks/ct_contents.shtml

    http://guardian.co.tt


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