Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The closure of CCA7

Press release

“The arts are a fundamental part of a confident and cultured society. They challenge and inspire us. They bring beauty, excitement and enjoyment into our lives. They help us express our identity as individuals, as members of communities, and as a nation.”

—Scottish Arts Council, Action Plan 2004-2009

Caribbean Contemporary Arts (CCA) is now obliged to face the stark reality that has been haunting us for the past years, and we have taken decisive action. As a collective, we have worked to the best of our ability towards developing both a sense of philanthropy and policies to increase the value placed on culture and identity.

Despite increased international funding for our core endeavours, we continue to lack operational funding or much in the way of communal national support. We can no longer afford to keep the organisation running, and therefore we feel that we have no option but to close down our current location on the Fernandes Industrial Estate, and to cease the running of all programmes, effective August 31st 2007.

We will continue, however, as an NGO under the name CCA, but strictly as an information base and to provide continuity for our archive, and also to maintain the possibility of future endeavors.

As from September the 17th CCA will be based at:

233 Belmont Circular Road, Belmont
Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies
P: +1 868 625 1889
F: +1 868 621 3837

Our e-mail contacts will remain as: mail@cca7.org and jleeloy@cca7.org

Our emotions are mixed: we are deeply saddened by the realisation that, even with financial support from our foreign partners, we continue to live in a country that lacks governmental and private sector support for culture and the arts. Since our inception ten years ago, we have attempted to tackle the formidable task of increasing awareness of and appreciation for visual art in our country, and the larger Caribbean region.

We have provided crucial training to arts and culture administrators, who now work in the field locally, regionally, and internationally. CCA has worked to create opportunities for local artists abroad, including exhibitions and workshop participation. As a result of our efforts, Trinidad is now considered a major centre for contemporary art in the Anglophone Caribbean.

We have put on over 70 exhibitions and have hosted Kairi, the Trinidad & Tobago International Film Festival. We have had 84 artists in residence, and 6 regional workshops with 118 local, regional, and international participants.

CCA’s plight is not unique to our organisation, but seems to be the on-going difficulty of all NGOs working in the field of Trinidad and Tobago. We can but hope that one day organisations such as ours will be able to reap from the same ground they tirelessly and optimistically continue to fertilise.

This is also a time of acknowledgement and appreciation. We are proud of our achievements, and hope that much has been learned from all the opportunities and experiences we have shared since 1997. We are confident that the spirit of CCA7 will live on through the work of the artists we have supported.We would like to extend our warm appreciation to all of our friends, affiliates, sponsors, and staff who have supported us over the years. Without your kindness and dedication, we could not have made it at all."

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