Formerly named "The Rainbow Initiative"
From grassroots culture to the world at large: showcasing multinational, multi-disciplinary creativity
Do you have an incredible idea for a creative cultural project that requires multinational cooperation and spans across multiple creative disciplines? Or perhaps you are a bit short of capital and cannot move forward with your visionary plan for the arts? Or do you have at your disposal a host of creative people who can help Taiwan’s arts and cultural groups collaborate with foreign/mainland Chinese counterparts? If this sounds like your organization, then look no further than the Ministry of Culture’s Funds for Collaborative Cultural Projects, an international grant program designed to help make dreams come true.
Because culture is as diverse and multifaceted as the rainbow, the Ministry of Culture hopes to encourage multinational cooperation in content production, curation/event planning, research, conservation, maintenance, promotion and personnel/technical exchanges or training in the fields of the humanities, art, community development, cultural assets, handicrafts, comics and animation, film, television and pop music, or any cross-disciplinary combination of these fields.
This funds program is aimed at strengthening cross-cultural dialogue and regional networking; it was created by the Ministry in the belief that multinational cultural collaboration would infuse the international cultural landscape with Taiwan’s grassroots concepts and approaches, thereby increasing the global visibility of the nation’s lively creative efforts and breakthroughs.
In the cultural and creative sector, there are many successful cases of international partnerships that are both groundbreaking and inspiring. Take the Italian city of Venice, for example; under its literary exchange program, authors from two different countries swap hometowns to experience a different lifestyle and urban culture, in which they combine literary efforts to produce a piece that can be appreciated by both cities upon debut. A similar synergy can be achieved in the international publishing field. Publishing companies can strike a deal in exchanging, translating and distributing noted works to help foreign language writers reach a wider readership, such as in overseas magazines carrying special feature sections on the beauty of Taiwan. The legacy of a shared past is another opportunity for cultural collaboration, for nations such as Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia have come together to narrate the horrors of conflict and landmines that stem from the Vietnam War.
China, Japan and South Korea as well, have combined their efforts in seeking historical truths. A team of Chinese, Japanese and Korean experts are now combing through records and compiling their colonial experiences – from the perspectives of both the conqueror and the conquered. Last but not least, sometimes an honest passion for the arts may be more than sufficient grounds for collaboration. Such was the case of two European orchestras, respectively based in France and Germany, that switched conductors in a successful attempt to produce new music. The ensuing performances from their collaboration were well-received by both cultures.
Needless to say, many international cross-sector art projects have been initiated by Taiwanese artists themselves. In 2008, Taiwan’s world-renowned Cloud Gate Dance Theatre worked with Cai Guo-qiang, a contemporary Chinese artist based in New York City, to produce “Wind‧Shadow,” a multimedia dance performance conceived as a fluid piece of installation art.
The crossover between visual and performing arts happened again in 2012, when Taipei-born fashion designer Johan Ku and Paris-based dance troupe Kafig Company unveiled “Yo Gee Ti.” The dance production – whose Chinese title translates into “organism” – featured choreography that was taken to the next level by Ku’s signature sculptural knitwear.
As part of the Ministry’s community empowerment project, many neighborhoods in Taiwan have also begun to conduct outreach programs related to humanities and the arts. Not only have local communities pitched in to help the earthquake and disaster recovery efforts in China and Japan, Taiwanese groups have also helped to set up art programs in these regions.
In terms of cultural heritage and preservation efforts, local conservation groups have also achieved synergy through technical exchanges with international experts and leading heritage organizations. From music and entertainment to humanitarian aid and heritage preservation, international partnerships with a cultural scope are the focus of this initiative.
This program will subsidize plans for multinational and multi-disciplinary collaborative cultural projects. Applications for proposals seeking funding in amounts between NT$3 million and NT$10 million are welcomed. Take advantage of this single annual application period and send in your application! Please note that Applicants are required to find a foreign partner whose headquarters are located in another country or mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, and that over half of all planned project activities need to take place in Taiwan.
Although the Ministry already has in place a number of measures to bolster international cultural exchanges, this program differs in that it seeks to stimulate multinational collaboration between organizations and institutions.
Submissions for 2017 will be accepted through Sept. 30, 2016. Proposals must be new and projects may not begin until after a contract with the Ministry has been signed. Application forms may be downloaded from here. Questions may be directed to the Department of Cultural Exchanges at (+886)-2-8512-6719, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dance Forum Taipei collaborated with international choreographers under the auspices of the 2014 funds program.