Who We Are
We are a San Fernando based Art and Culture Centre focused on the promotion and growth of south talent.
A BRIEF HISTORY
The San Fernando Arts Council – a non-profit organization was founded in 1969. In 1973, it was incorporated by an Act of Parliament, In 1975 we received a National Award- The Medal of Merit (Gold) for Meritorious Service and in 1976 the San Fernando Arts Council was decreed a charitable organization. The original logo was designed by David Banks.
The Council was originally founded to bring together south artistic groups and artistes under one umbrella. The object of the Council is to foster and promote the maintenance, improvement and development of artistic taste and talent and the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the Arts among the inhabitants of San Fernando.
The San Fernando Arts Council has been a cultural force in South Trinidad for over 40 years. During this time the Council has worked assiduously to develop, foster and promote the Arts in all its forms with its focus on both children and adults. From inception the S.F.A.C. bravely took its campaign into Schools and for many years through the San Fernando Junior Arts Festival we have brought out the latent talent in our youth and have been the catalyst behind some of the nation’s major artistes today namely, Machael Montano, Joanne Foster, Liam Teague, Sherma Andrews, Atiba Williams, Michael Zephrine, Leon Foster- Thomas and Faye Ali Bocus just to name a few.
Mention must also be made of the timely intervention of the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago for deciding to sponsor the National Junior Arts Festival involving both Primary and Secondary Schools throughout Trinidad and Tobago approximately 6 years ago. The Festival has seen a phenomenal growth and general improvement during this time to present. We extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation to The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago. Junior Festival Directors past and present namely James Lee Wah, Joyce Kirton, Eric Butler, Annette Lessey, Walid Baksh and Winston Bramble, must also be applauded for their significant contribution to the development of the Festival thus far.
Through the Senior Festival, the Council has provided a stage for the talented adults of our society to showcase their talents and to express their creativeness. Through the Council, the literary Society was formed and many artistes were given the prospect to communicate through writing and performance of their creative pieces, in the form of short stories, poems, monologues which kept soul alive. In addition, the Council gave birth to a leading cultural magazine in South- GAYAP. To date 10 issues have been printed.
In the early 1970’s a Building Fund Committee headed by the then Member of Parliament for the San Fernando West Constituency, Mr. Errol Mahabir assisted us in the acquisition of the land located on Circular Road, Mon Repos, San Fernando for the construction of the Creative Arts Centre realizing over $100,000.00. We are indeed very grateful to him and other members of that Committee for their initiative. Subsequent to this, The San Fernando Arts Council receive an annual subvention of $30,000,00 up to 2010 for the general upkeep and maintenance of the Centre.
After 15 or so odd years, on September 10th 1989, the then Minister of Youth, Sports, Culture and Creative Arts – Honourable Jenifer Johnson formally opened the San Fernando Arts Council’s - Creative Arts Centre at 97C Circular Road, San Fernando. Two years later the stage was donated by Mr. George Dieffenthaller and Mrs. Magalhaes in memory of their departed father Mr. Ray Diefenthaller.
In 2002, The San Fernando City Council during Mayor Gerard Ferriera’s Administration undertook a complete make over of the Arts Council’s building. This Centre has now become a venue in great demand for classes, meetings, theatrical productions, concerts, private parties and wedding receptions.
The founding members were at one time all key players in the cultural life of the South and have all been at one time or the other at the helm of the Council, each making his or her own indelible mark with the San Fernando Arts Council. We have been at the forefront of the promotion of major cultural events and has assisted in the production of many major annual celebrations; Carnival, Emancipation, Divali, Best Village etc.
At Present the Chairman of the San Fernando Arts Council is Mr. James Solomon. A member of the San Fernando Theatre Workshop, Mr. Solomon is a talented actor who has played diverse roles that brings to life the characters from scripts of both local and international playwrights. Mr. Solomon's love of the arts has propelled him to be immersed in the lifeblood of national theatre. Past Chairpersons include James Lee Wah, Joyce Kirton, Torrance Mohammed and Eric Butler.
In August 2010, The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago commenced an upgrade and refurbishment project at the home of the San Fernando Arts Council- The Creative Arts Centre and in January 2011 this project was completed. The Creative Arts Centre is now fully air-conditioned and user friendly.
IN POINT FORM
• Founded 1969-Logo Design by David Banks
• Incorporated 1973
• Medal of Merit (Gold) for Meritorious Service, National Awards 1975
• Made Charitable Organization- 1976
• Participated in CARIFESTA- Cuba 1979
• Creative Arts Centre constructed 1989
• Creative Arts Centre- Refurbished 2002 by the San Fernando City Council
• Creative Arts Centre- Refurbished 2010 by The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The object of the Council shall be to foster and promote the maintenance, improvement and development of artistic taste and talent and the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the Arts among the inhabitants of San Fernando. As ancillary to the foregoing objects but not otherwise:
1. To act as a coordinating body for individuals and organizations primarily amateur in the furtherance of activities which promote the objects of the Council in San Fernando and to provide means of liaison between such individuals and organization and the appropriate committee of the San Fernando City Council and National Cultural bodies and other organizations.
2. To establish or further the work of charitable institutions to be formed or already existing for the promote of the said objects
3. To present or assist in presenting public concerts, dramatic performances, recitals, art exhibitions, lectures, art festivals and other art events.
4. To provide a means for bringing to the attention of the inhabitants of San Fernando, the work of creative artistes in all fields of the Arts.
5. To come to the assistance of member groups and individual members based on the need and at the discretion of the Executive.
6. To foster a spirit of harmony among member groups
7. To act as a representative body protecting the interest of member groups and individuals.
8. To provide for member groups a Creative Arts Centre
9. To promote the San Fernando Festival now called the National Junior Arts Festival (SANFEST).
10. To do all things as are necessary to the attainment of the foregoing objects.