University of Trinidad and Tobago
Opening of UTT Campus at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA)
Friday 19th April, 2013
SAPA, San Fernando
DR. THE HONOURABLE LINCOLN DOUGLAS
Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism
- Senator the Honourable Fazal Karim, Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Training
- Mr. Curtis R. Manchoon, Chairman, Board of Governors
- Ms. Deborah Matthews, Operations Manager, Southern Academy for the Performing Arts
- Specially invited guests
- Members of the Media
- Ladies and Gentlemen
Today I am honoured to address you at the launch of the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s Campus at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts. This momentous occasion marks another important step towards advancing the skills training and development of the cultural and creative industries of Trinidad and Tobago.
The opening of this facility is a strong indication that the People’s Partnership government is serious about investing in the enhancement of the intellectual capital and creative genius of our people. It is for this reason that I must congratulate Senator the Honourable Fazal Karim, Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Training and Mr. Curtis Manchoon, Chairman of the Board of Governors at the University of Trinidad and Tobago for ensuring the timely launch of this Campus. I have no doubt that this brand new facility will encourage nationals to consider a career in the cultural and creative industries.
I am especially proud of the inclusion of The Pan Institute and The Ramlila Institute at this Campus. The housing of these Institutes at the SAPA will add to preserving and promoting the rich cultural history of the steelpan and the Ramlila Festival for future generations. Knowledge of the past is necessary for the growth and advancement of any people.
The sustainable development of a knowledge-driven economy can only take place with strategic partnerships like the one you are witnessing today. Together with the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training, the University of Trinidad and Tobago and other key stakeholders you can rest assured that this government is on the right track towards strengthening the cultural and creative industries. At this facility I envision training in a wide variety of disciplines, numerous courses and seminars for the public, conferences and exhibitions. Cultural exchanges and mentorship programmes can facilitate the necessary transfer of creative knowledge and history to aspiring artistes and cultural workers locally, regionally and internationally.
Only two days ago I had the pleasure of awarding five distinguished masters of various art forms who participated in a programme called ‘Mentoring by the Masters’. The programme aimed to provide a forum for the transfer of knowledge from senior, accomplished artists to emerging practitioners or apprentices in their respective fields. The UTT Campus at SAPA is well positioned as a strategic partner of the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism to collaborate and create more programmes of this nature that will ensure continued growth and development of the national creative landscape and the economy of Trinidad and Tobago by extension.
In closing I must once again congratulate the Honourable Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Training and the Chairman of the Board of Governors of UTT for the launching of the UTT Campus at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts.
Thank you and Good Morning.