Special Plan —United Through the Arts Weiwuying nurtures creativity and builds capacity for the future
(Kaohsiung, Monday, June 7, 2021) In response to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases across the country, many performing arts venues were forced to close their doors after Taiwan's declaration of the nationwide level three epidemic warning. This is yet another hard hit to the art and culture sector, which has already struggled so much since the beginning of the pandemic. Weiwuying and other National Performing Arts Center (NPAC) subsidiary organizations have, in response, launched the Special Plan—United Through the Arts to stand with the performing arts sector during these difficult times.
The plan, namely "Two Ways of Support and Three Ways of Advancement", includes extension of the relief measures implemented since last year, facilitation of affected events and performances for rescheduling. It also offers support for research and development of local productions, enhances online platforms for learning and participation and talent cultivation, and connects NPAC subsidiary organizations in Taiwan to digital cultural action programs.
Weiwuying's General and Artistic Director CHIEN Wen-pin said "The recent surge came as a shock to us as it forced the entire country to a Level 3 alert in just a few days. This Special Plan—United Through the Arts not only consolidates resources of national-level performing arts platforms to offer timely support to artists and performing arts organizations amid challenging times but to nurture creativity and build capacity for their future development."
To help groups who have had to cancel or postponed performances, Weiwuying, the National Theater and Concert Hall, and the National Taichung Theater have together launched the "Two Ways of Support" measures, which refers to extending the Special Plan 1.0 relief measures/duration and providing assistance in rescheduling affected events and performances. Specifically, venue bookings of programs that have been affected by the pandemic can be canceled and fully refund. Moreover, venue rental fees for rehearsals, R&D, work-in-progress try-outs, and live streams or recordings have been reduced by 50%. The hiring charge of the use of large performance halls (in place of originally booked smaller venues as a result of the need for staggered seating) will also be the same as that of the originally booked venues. Lastly, canceled performances will be given priority in rescheduling for the latter half of this year or next year.
The "Three Ways of Advancement" measures are designed to develop the capacity of the arts and culture sector for the future once the venue is reopened. The first measure, which is the resource support for research and development of local productions, refers to the injection of funding for canceled programs organized by Weiwuying during the pandemic. Performance groups will be commissioned to transform their programs into versions suited to radio or online broadcasting. The Kaohsiung Performing Arts Creativity Program held last year will be expanded to encourage international collaborations among performance groups through an integrated offline-online model.
The second measure aims to enhance education and talent cultivation while enhancing digital platforms. This refers to recording and broadcasting programs organized by Weiwuying canceled during the pandemic, as well as streaming of Weiwuying's flagship productions. Moreover, the Aesthetics Education Program, which was initiated last year, has been changed so that content may be recorded and delivered to schools through flash drives and online. This allows students to further broaden their horizons and cultivate their interests in the arts. Finally, Weiwuying will make full use of digital technology in launching online classes taught by professional organizations and performance groups for both practitioners and the general public.
The third measure is to connect NPAC subsidiary organizations in northern, central, and southern Taiwan to digital cultural action programs. This brings together Taiwanese artists and performers with international groups to enhance the capacity of professionals in performance, technology, and productions through co-production of Digital Exhibition and Performance such as digital exhibitions and performances using 5G technology. Furthermore, Weiwuying, along with the National Theater and Concert Hall and the National Taichung Theater, will launch the 5G Talent Cultivation Program. The first phase of the program aims to equip practitioners the knowledge of the 5G environment and' related applications through a series of lectures and workshops.
Moreover, Weiwuying's resident artist CHOU Shu-yi plans to bring 20 dancers to various schools and other public areas in Kaohsiung to showcase his program named Bolero in Kaohsiung! to be presented when the gathering restriction has been removed. For more information on the Special Plan —United Through the Arts, please visit the Weiwuying website.