Performing arts centre Penangpac to close permanently on January 15

·2-min read
Over the past decade, Penangpac has housed almost 1,000 performances and events. ― Picture courtesy of Penangpac
Over the past decade, Penangpac has housed almost 1,000 performances and events. ― Picture courtesy of Penangpac

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 — The Performing Arts Centre of Penang (Penangpac) will be closing its curtains for good on January 15, as the arts institution can no longer financially support itself due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its after-effects.

In a statement, Penangpac co-founders Datuk Faridah Merican and Joe Hasham said that the arts centre’s closure comes after months of discussions between The Actors Studio and Eastern Oriental Berhad, with every effort to keep it afloat in the current climate.

“This was not a decision we took lightly. It is indeed heartbreaking that penangpac has to close down but we must face the facts and reality.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to Eastern Oriental Berhad for partnering with The Actors Studio to set up Penangpac 10 years ago and housing us in Straits Quay where we have enjoyed 10 extraordinary years,” they said.

Faridah and Joe said that they hope that even as Penangpac shuts its doors, dreams to further the arts in Penang and the northern region continue to live on in the artists who have made Penangpac their main stage.

“During this time, we had the privilege of witnessing many performing arts groups and artists blossom, playing host to many international groups and created what we hope was a warm home for the performing arts community in the North.

“We have also been on the receiving end of much warmth, care and generosity from our patrons, students, sponsors, partners, staff, ex-staff and interns — for that, we thank you,” they said, adding that they hold onto the hope that Penangpac may reopen in the future.

They added that over the past decade, Penangpac housed almost 1,000 performances and events — including 100 international troupes — entertained 250,000 audiences from all walks of life, and educated almost 1,500 students from three-year-olds to seniors in all facets of arts.

Penangpac also brought performing arts to schools and communities, reaching over 50 schools, and providing 2,700 students their first exposure to the arts through free introductory workshops.

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