In 1949, after recognizing a great need for a center where art and culture could be practiced, a group of local cultural associations, led by the Cultureel Centrum Aruba, joined forces to develop Aruba’s first Cultural Center. Together, the associations founded the Stichting Schouwburg Aruba (SSA): a foundation specifically aimed at building the cultural center in order to secure the development, continuation and promotion of art and culture in Aruba.

To establish the historic venue, the SSA received financial support from the government of Aruba, Sticusa (a foundation aimed at promoting cultural exchange between Suriname and the now-defunct Netherlands Antilles), the Lago Oil & Transport Company and the Royal Netherlands Steamship Co. The building was designed by architect F. F. Zingel, who also designed Centro Pro Arte and the church of Brievengat on the island of Curaçao. In 1957, the first stone was laid by Ms. J.H.M. Kwartsz-Spruyt, marking the beginning of the construction.

The center first opened its doors on November 15, 1958 under the name Cultureel Centrum (Dutch for “Cultural Center”). Later, the foundation adopted its present name Cas di Cultura (Papiamento for “House of Culture”). To this day, Cas di Cultura is still owned and managed by SSA. Throughout the years, the foundation has seen many members, including professionals in a variety of fields, all dedicated to ensuring the sustainability of Aruba’s only theater. In recent years, the foundation has broadened its mission by initiating projects that – in addition to being entertaining – are focused on cultural and artistic education. By doing so, Cas di Cultura hopes to further engage the Aruban community, particularly the younger generation, to admire, preserve and share Aruba’s culture and the arts in general.

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© 2020 Cas di Cultura