The Uganda National Cultural Center (UNCC) commonly known as the National Theatre is set to construct regional centers in various parts of the country.
The regional centers are part of a campaign to ensure that cultural initiatives and activities are revamped to contribute effectively to the socio-economic development in Uganda.
According to a statement from Sam Kelo Okello the chairman, Board of Trustees, the regional centers are intended to identify and promote talents in the different regions, create employment among youth through performing arts among other reasons.
“UNCC has embarked on a mission to create regional centers in the various parts of the country aimed at identifying and promoting talent in regions, creating employment among the youth through performing Arts, bring about development in the different regions and take theater to people in regions,”Okello said in part.
The centers will be established in the selected four regions of Masaka in the Central, Kisoro in the West, Gulu in the North and Mbale in the East as the target headquarters of the regional Cultural centers.
According to Okello, the process of implementing the project will entail acquiring resources that will be used to purchase land in the proposed areas and establish Centers.
“The institution will after the establishment of the venture have an operational staff that will be charged with advancing the institution’s mandate,” Okello said.
The campaign will also include activities such as National events starting with the 26th NRM Liberation celebrations due on 26th January 2020 in Ibanda, Cultural Exchanges, Festivals and National events.
Okello said that they have met a number of people to support the campaign and notably among them is Hamis Kiggundu who according to Okello, donated to the National Theatre 200 copies of his book titled “Success and Failure based on reason and reality.”
“The Board of Trustees would like to give these books to the artists in the sector through the Uganda Culture Forum members. We are sure that after reading the book, one cannot remain the same in the areas of personal of personal growth and development,” Okello said.
Okello called upon the public to support the campaign through capacity building opportunities, infrastructural development including equipment, financial contributions and Research and publication.
The National Theatre was established in 1959 by the UNCC Act 1959 (and amended in 1965) with the mandate to preserve, promote and popularize Uganda’s cultural heritage in Uganda and beyond.
The National Theatre is a semi-autonomous body under the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social development.
The organization is governed by a Board of Trustees who are appointed by the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
In June 2017, the National Theater was under threat to be demolished in a move that was intended to pave way for a 36-storey modern tower.
According to the plan, the building that houses the theater was set to be transformed into a mega complex with a multi-million shopping mall, arcades, modern restaurants, bars, cinemas, state of the art auditoriums and a six underground car parking lots.
The board of trustees however responded to the reports that the theater was not up for demolition.