?Vel Lewis, deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, says only media personnel will be taken on a tour of the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) at Princes Building Grounds, Port-of-Spain, today.
He was responding to a call yesterday by interim president of the Coalition of Artists of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT), Rubadiri Victor, for a delegation of artistes to accompany the media tour of NAPA today. Victor was speaking at a news conference at The Professionals Institute, Mucurapo. In a telephone interview, Lewis said: "Unfortunately, the Culture Minister (Marlene Mc Donald) has already decided upon a tour and they have to adhere to the management policy.
"They (Coalition of Artists) may want a tour but I suspect after the tour other groups would be allowed to tour. But tomorrow (today) it is strictly for the media and based on the invitation." Victor, a former Trinidad Theatre Workshop actor, had said: "We would love for a delegation of artistes to accompany the media as a precursor for the full stakeholder analysis of the entire building that must happen. "This is an open call to the minister for an artiste delegation to accompany the media tomorrow (today)."
In response to Lewis' comment, Victor added: "We will see what happens. "We are not really after a tour but whole stakeholder inclusion. "We will like people to have a balanced view of what they have been seeing. Seeing we know there are a lot of corrections and things are being prettied up." During the press conference, Victor had said: "Madame Minister, we are not your enemy. We care about your country, traditions and the future of our artforms."