CCA (Caribbean Contemporary Arts) was established in 1997 by Charlotte Elias at Fernandos Industrial Estate in Port of Spain, Trinidad, to host community and international workshops and residency programmes, along with extensive outreach activities. In its 18,000 sq. ft. space, CCA had two exhibition spaces, 11 artist studios, an information centre and office, along with lecture and meeting facilities, and a library and archive.
The international residency programme began in 2000 in collaboration with Triangle Network. Residencies last for 8 weeks and involved collaboration with local artists, participation in outreach programmes, ending in Open Studios or an exhibition.
Big River International Artists’ Workshop was hosted by Contemporary Caribbean Arts (CCA) in collaboration with the Triangle Network. Held in 1999 and 2001 at Grande Riviere in the north coast of Trinidad, around 23 artists – mostly from the wider Caribbean region – were invited to each workshop. Artists were encouraged to experiment and to develop new ideas.
Much of the work produced was made in collaboration with the people of Grande Riviere village. During the Open Day, about 600 people visited from all parts of Trinidad. In 1999 the exhibition of the workshop was held at the National Museum of Port of Spain. For the second workshop the work was exhibited at the Main Gallery at CCA.