The caribbean lectureship
faith. Praise. fellowship
July 15 - 18, 2018 | Georgetown, Guyana
The National Cultural Centre
July 12- 15, 2020 | Kingston, Jamaica
The National Cultural Centre, the premier auditorium for cultural presentations in Guyana, is located on Homestretch Avenue, D’Urban Park, in Georgetown. It rises 62 feet (19 m), is 240 feet (73 m) long and 115 feet (35 m) wide, and seats about 2,000 people. Its stage is 48 feet (15 m) deep with an orchestra pit, and has a 72-foot (22 m) wide and 20-foot (6.1 m) high 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, but these were clearly inadequate venues for ambitious theatre.
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.
It was hoped that the building of the Centre would be finished in time for the first Caribbean Festival Creative Arts (Carifesta) which Guyana hosted in 1972. However, this was not to be. The unfinished structure was used anyway, with the aid of three large canvas tents to complete the roofing, and coconut palm fronts as walls. The Jamaica National Ballet was the first group to perform there, as part of Carifesta 72.
After many delays the National Cultural Centre was officially opened on 16 May 1976.