To help improve the quality and international competitiveness of Taiwan’s performing arts, the Ministry of Culture has taken the first step towards securing the groundwork for a national center for performing arts by launching a preparatory committee on Dec. 16.
Expressing hope that a draft act can clear the legislature this session to allow the national center for performing arts to be swiftly established, Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai described the launch of the committee as "a milestone."
If approved by the Legislative Yuan, the center will be tasked with running the National Theater and Concert Hall in northern Taiwan, the Taichung National Opera House in central Taiwan, and the Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts in southern Taiwan.
It will also be responsible for coordinating and fostering exchanges between Taiwanese and international performing arts groups. Its domestic duties will include the marketing and promotion of performing arts to Taiwanese audiences.
The Minister noted the importance of the Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts in Kaohsiung and the National Opera House in Taichung, both of which are expected to be fully open by 2015.
The venues will create more opportunities for international cooperation and cultural resources to pour in central and southern Taiwan, Lung said.
They will also help more local and foreign groups perform in Taiwan outside of Taipei, said Lin Hwai-min (林懷民), founder and artistic director of Taiwan's Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and a member of the committee.
Furthermore, Ju Tzong-ching (朱宗慶), founder and artistic director of Ju Percussion Group, also a committee member, said the competition and cooperation among the three venues will result in a raising of the bar in terms of the production values of shows and performances.
The other members of the preparatory committee are: Tung Tzu-hsien (童子賢), a noted philanthropist and founder of Taiwan’s computer hardware company Asus; Eric Yao (姚仁祿), a multi-talented architect and award-winning television program producer; Chen Guo-ci (陳國慈), executive director of the Taipei Story House; and Chien Wen-pin (簡文彬), a classical conductor tasked with the mission of transforming Kaohsiung’s Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts into an international cultural hotspot.