Newspaper article China Post

Cultural Policymaking Needs Sustained Effort Lest It Buckle

Newspaper article China Post

Cultural Policymaking Needs Sustained Effort Lest It Buckle

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Ju Tzong-ching ([...]), chairman of the National Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center, recently announced major personnel changes at the center's National Theater and Concert Hall (NTCH), along with some developments in Taiwan's performing arts circle.

Ju anticipated that in a few years Taiwan will look differently because of the completion of the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House in 2014, Kaohsiung's Wei Wu Ying Center for the Arts in 2015, and the renovation of the NTCH starting from mid-2015.

As the nation's most experienced performing arts institution, the NTCH is expected to play a pioneering role in expanding Taiwan's performing arts scene, both domestically and internationally. The mission is no piece of cake.

For instance, the Legislative Yuan has not yet passed a bill establishing a national performing arts body, which would oversee the duties at the three aforementioned performance venues. The legalization of the center is in distress because legislators at different parties failed to reach consensus, and the Ministry of Culture (MOC) didn't show a strong determination to help mediate the differing viewpoints.

In the country's pursuit of cultural policymaking, the lack of a supportive and sustained force from the government has been a worrisome problem for Taiwan. Especially when our neighbors, such as South Korea and mainland China, are keen on growing their cultural capacities.

At the moment, the NTCH is Taiwan's only sizable institution capable of maintaining long-term, amicable relations with foreign performing art troupes, some of which often include Taiwan in their Asia-Pacific tours. This status could change easily once mainland China constructs a large performance venue in every one of the country's major cities. Taiwan may become a stop to skip.

In addition to China's cultural developments, South Korea is also making moves, most notably through the Performing Arts Market in Seoul. This institute has been South Korea's marketing arm, promoting and distributing new productions. The networking-oriented platform was established in 2005 with support from the country's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. …

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