National Cultural Centre (Guyana)

The National Cultural Centre, the premier auditorium for cultural presentations in Georgetown, Guyana. It is on Homestretch Avenue, in D’Urban Park (south of the Botanical Gardens). It hosts theatre, music, and dance[1] as well as other events.

It rises 62 feet (19 m), is 240 feet (73 m) long and 115 feet (35 m) wide, and seats about 2,000[2] people. Its stage is 48 feet (15 m) deep with an orchestra pit, and has a 72-foot-wide (22 m) and 20-foot-high (6.1 m) opening. The centre is decorated with a chandelier made of local woods over the main staircase, and a Denis Williams mural, entitled Memorabilia 11.

After the destruction of the Assembly Rooms, the auditoriums of Queen's College and St Rose's High School were mainly used for major cultural presentations. The idea of establishing a National Cultural Centre can be traced back to 1951 when a foundation stone was laid on the site that now houses the Bank of Guyana building. The decision to erect the Centre was made early in 1971 and Guyanese architects were invited to submit designs for the building in a competition held that year. From the four entries received, the design submitted by Norris Mitchell Associates was selected.[citation needed]

It was unfinished by 1972, when Guyana hosted the Caribbean Festival Creative Arts (Carifesta), but the unfinished structure was used anyway, with the aid of three large canvas tents to complete the roofing, and coconut palm fronts as walls.[3] The Jamaica National Ballet was the first group to perform there, as part of Carifesta 72.

The centre was officially opened on 16 May 1976.[4]

The centre received sound system upgrades in 2019[5]

It houses the National Drama School[6] And hosted the National Drama Festival until 2017.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Smock, Kirk; Antell, Claire (2018). Guyana. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 94. ISBN 978-1-84162-929-2.
  2. ^ "The rise and rise of professional theatre in Guyana". Stabroek News. 2021-01-24. Retrieved 2021-02-15.
  3. ^ Osman, Ruth (2008-07-01). "Carifesta's festival of the arts turns full circle". Caribbean Beat Magazine. Retrieved 2021-02-15.
  4. ^ INews (2019-03-27). "Major upgrade for National Cultural Centre". INews Guyana. Retrieved 2021-02-15.
  5. ^ Helly, Denise.; . (2008). Social cohesion and cultural plurality. Chicoutimi: J.-M. Tremblay. ISBN 978-1-4123-6272-6.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Culture Centre renovation pegged at up to $80M - Anthony". Stabroek News. 2014-01-08. Retrieved 2021-02-15.
  7. ^ "Prohibitive costs have led to decline in theatre productions". Stabroek News. 2020-04-19. Retrieved 2021-02-15.

Coordinates: 6°48′09″N 58°08′24″W / 6.80261°N 58.14002°W / 6.80261; -58.14002