National Academy for the Performing Arts officially opened


On Monday, November 9, 2009, the National Academy for the Performing Arts, NAPA, was officially handed over to the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago yesterday at a Gala Ceremony held at Auditorium of the northern campus of the Academy. The building, which stands on the old Prince’s Building Grounds, Queen’s Park East, Port of Spain, has cost approximately $500 million. The center is expected to quickly become the premiere space for artists and performers in Trinidad and Tobago and across the region. The space can accommodate over 1200 guests, is equipped with sound infrastructure for theatre, administration management and hotel and tourism opportunities.
Attending the Historic, Gala event were Their Excellencies, Professor George Maxwell Richards, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Dr. Jean Ramjohn-Richards, The Honourable Patrick Manning and Senator, the Honourable Mrs. Hazel Manning, His Excellency You MIng Yang, Ambassador of the Peopl’e Republic of China, Mr. Calder Hart, Executive Chairman of UDeCOTT, the Country Manager and CEO of Shanghai Construction Group, Cabinet Ministers, the Chief Justice, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as other Senior Government officials. Several Mayors, Councillors, and other dignitaries also attended. So too did many members of the general public who were keen to witness the official handover.

The Honourable Marlene McDonald, Minister of Community Devleopment, Culture and Gender Affairs received a replica of the facility, as gift from UDeCOTT Chairman, Calder Hart. The Minister expressed gratitude and honour as she received the replica. Entertainment for the programme included the Eastern Youth Chorale, the bmobile Shiv Shakti Dance Group and Malick Folk Performers. Ms. Giselle Thomson-Lowe of UDeCOTT provided emcee services in addition to two sterling renditions, one of which included the song “At Last.” The National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO) and Big Band, Divine Echoes were also present to provide entertainment.
The Academy, which will be managed by the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) will open its doors to students in January 2010.

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Architectural rendering from

Photo by Natalie Walters

6 thoughts on “National Academy for the Performing Arts officially opened

  1. In all the press coverage of this iconic structure I could find no mention made of the artist who conceived it – the ARCHITECT! Imagine going to the opening gala of a new symphony, or the celebration of a new book, or unveiling of a grand painitng, and not mentioning the composer, the author, or the painter; unimaginable. But here is a structure which will hopefully last centuries, which will become an symbol; of Trindadian pride, and you don’t mention the form giver, the creative mind which conceived the building. Inexcusable!

  2. Iwould like to find out how to contact the NAPA directly. If anyone can give me a direct email to them that would be great. I reside in the U.S.A

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