GEORGE TOWN, Oct 19 – The masterplan for the Penang Arts District (PAD) has been submitted to the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) last month for planning permission approval, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. He said the state government would invest RM30 million to establish the PAD on a 3.72-hectare development site off Gat Lebuh Macallum and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, and Penang-based BYG Architecture Sdn Bhd had been appointed the lead designer for the project.
“To reflect Penang’s shipping trade and maritime heritage, the 100,000 square feet build-up space of the arts district will be mainly made up of shipping containers. With an urban and modern aesthetic, the container concept and modular style would also allow greater flexibility and opportunity for the space to evolve with time, along with the growing arts community in Penang,” he told a press conference here today.
Also present PAD Director Tony Pua. Lim said the PAD would cater to the single largest collection of art galleries, cultural museums, exhibition spaces, art and music studios, arts schools and workshops in Malaysia. Meanwhile, Pua said the PAD team, together with BYG Architecture, would be hosting dialogues and focus group discussions with various stakeholders from the local arts community to meet their needs prior to submission to MBPP in December this year.
“We are looking for participation from everyone to make this place a success. So that all the needs of the arts community are properly catered for in this location. There is no point building a site and then later they come and said this place not suitable for us,” he said.
There will be three separate sessions for different groups in Penang, namely artists and visual art community on Oct 25, galleries and art associations/NGOs (Oct 26) and performing arts community (Nov 10), which will be held at Penang House of Music in Komtar, he said.
Pua said one separate session would also be held in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 2 at the Next Academy, Glomac Damansara to engage the interested arts community outside Penang. All interested parties may register at the PAD website www.penangartsdistrict.com or contact Stephanie Kee at [email protected] or 04-2616161, he added. — Bernama