It was the year 1949 when a group of active cultural associations in the Arubian community, under the wings of Cultureel Centrum Aruba, felt a great need for a building where the arts and culture could be exercised and developed. Cultureel Centrum Aruba, together with other cultural associations such as the Filmliga Aruba, de Arubaanse Muziekschool, Kunstkring, the Symphonic Orchestra, the Volksuniversiteit Aruba, the Aruba camera club, the Amateurtoneelgroep, the Rythmische en the Vereniging Pro Musica, joined forces to realize a building in which arts and culture could be practiced and exposed. In doing so the foundation Stichting Schouwburg Aruba (SSA) arose in 1955 with the aim of building the first Cultural Centre in Aruba to secure the continuation of the development and promotion of the cultural life in the community. The modern building called “Cultureel Centrum” (Dutch) was officially opened on November 15th of 1958. Later, the name changed to Cas di Cultura (Papiamento).
Mrs J.H.M. Kwartsz-Spruyt laid the first stone in 1957. The authorities that financed the construction of the building were the government of Aruba, The Sticusa (Foundation for Cultural Cooperation with Surinam and the Netherlands Antilles), the Lago Oil & Transport Company and the Royal Netherlands Steamship Co. The design of the building was in the hands of architect F.F. Zingel, who also designed Centro Pro Arte and the church of Brievengat on Curaçao. To date the foundation Stichting Schouwburg Aruba still owns and manages Cas di Cultura and is working hard to ensure the proper maintenance of the building for its good use by the Arubian cultural life. Furthermore the foundation has broadened its focus by actively initiating projects, especially ones with and accent on cultural education.
The 50th anniversary of Cas di Cultura was greatly celebrated, starting in 2007 with the musical ‘Trevia, e garado di djaka’ (‘Trevia, the rat hunter’ based on the story of the Pied Piper), commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first stone laying on June 24th 1957. The celebrations continued in 2008 with and Open House Day, the art exposition ‘Spiritu di Tempo’ (Ghost of Time) exposing 50 years of art on Aruba and ended with the multidisciplinary performance project ‘Mind Your Gap’ on November 15th, the exact date of the center’s opening in 1958.
Cas di Cultura's logo was created at the turn of this century. It symbolizes the theatrical spotlight lighting up the Arubian stage (black square with white triangle) which is a platform for both national and international talent and spectacles. The light shines on the Arubian soil which is portrayed by the drawings found on pre-columbine ceramics, dating from at least a thousand years ago, that were found during excavations from the Arubian subsoil. The style of the drawings is called 'Dabajuroid' pointing to Dabajuro, located in the Venezuelan state of Falcon, which is the only place where similar decorations are found. The logo might remind one of the Arubian banknotes and of Cas di Cultura's façade which all have similar drawings. The Arubian artist Evelino Fingal is the creator ofthese three designs.
International Theater Festival
International Dance Festival
Concierto di Siglo
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