Inwa School, Mintha Theater, Myanmar
David Heath's dream was to build schools that would preserve the traditional performing arts and music of Burma. He raised the money through sales of his book "Burma: An Enchanted Spirit" and through the Suu Foundation to build the first school (The Inwa School of Performing Arts) in Mandalay.
The Inwa School of Performing Arts is a sustainable social enterprise that was founded in 2016 to support the highest standards of the Myanmar performing arts and to create greater world awareness of the classical Myanmar culture.
After 3 years of planning, the Inwa School rented land at a location on 58th street, to the east of the moat in central Mandalay. Construction of the main school building began in April 2016. Under guidance from top Myanmar cultural experts, the school hired four full-time master teachers in dance, music and drama. Students were auditioned from arts-intensive towns in upper Myanmar and classes began in June 2016. As part of a sustainablility plan, a traditional bamboo zat performance theater was built on the campus and, the school opened its nightly performance venue for visitors and local audiences in October. The response from tourism reviewers (guide books and TripAdvisor) and from the SE Asian travel press has been outstanding.
International support to launch the project was coordinated by David Heath, The Suu foundation (a USA charitable institution) and Arts Mandalay Foundation.