The Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has been commended by theatre arts professionals and stakeholders for investing in infrastructure to boost all genre of the theater profession. The governor was specifically praised for the initiative to build 6 theaters across the five administrative divisions of Lagos State.
The state support for the art community was positively expressed by stakeholders at the opening symposium of the 2017 Lagos Theater Festival organised by the British Council at the National Arts Theater, Iganmu, Lagos. The annual festival with the theme: rhythm of the city will hold for six days featuring 70 performances in comedy, fashion, design, theater, dance and music.
Earlier, in a goodwill message delivered by the Acting Commissioner and Special Adviser for Tourism, Arts and Culture in Lagos State Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola said ‘the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is strongly committed to the upliftment of Theater arts in Lagos State” She further stated that “a clear demonstration of this resolve is the proposed establishment of theater arts centers in five administrative divisions of the of the State to be operated and managed by the private sector.’ The Government has equally strengthened the capacity of the Council for Arts and Culture established for the propagation, promotion and preservation of Arts and culture of the State.
While commending the Lagos State government intervention in the proposed renovation of the National Arts Theatre, the representative of the Minister for Information and Culture, Mr George Ufot said the main hall will be reopened within the next three months after 25 years of closure due to decay and malfunction of the facilities.
Various speakers at the event including Mrs Bolanle Austen-Peters, founder and managing director, Terrakulture, Lagos who spoke on the intervention for developing the performing arts in Nigeria said the nation’s comparative advantage in creating jobs is in the arts not in the science with value for money and high return on investment.
Other speakers at the symposium includes, Mr Obi Asika,Chairman, Social Media Week Lagos, Mr David Evans, Production Manager, National Theatre Wales among others. The Lagos theater festival was founded by the British Council in 2013 as part of the ambition to foster exchange and collaboration between Nigerian and British Theater.