Ministry of Culture to distribute NT$600 vouchers to encourage public support of the arts
To encourage the public to spend more on culture as the pandemic situation eases and help revitalize the arts, the Ministry of Culture unveiled an arts-and-culture voucher program at a press conference on June 11.
A total of two million vouchers would be issued on July 22, each valued at NT$600 and for dedicated use on arts and cultural consumption anywhere in Taiwan. More than 10,000 businesses are participating in the stimulus program, which is expected to create some NT$5 billion in value for the industry.
The Executive Yuan will also launch its "Triple Stimulus Vouchers" program on July 15, which is estimated to create over a trillion dollars in business opportunities. The Ministry of Culture is, through its own voucher program valued at NT$1.2 billion, expecting to contribute a further NT$5 billion to this, while also further enticing spending of "Triple Stimulus Vouchers" on arts and cultural transactions.
This additional spending is expected to inject some NT$25-30 billion in capital into the industry. The hope is that this will provide some concrete assistance to the arts and cultural sector as it works to recover from the damage wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, while at the same time making operations more sustainable by directing more consumers to this sector.
With the aid of a special budget passed by the Executive Yuan, the Ministry of Culture has invested a further NT$1.2 billion in addition to the Yuan's "Triple Stimulus Vouchers" program in the form of two million vouchers valued at NT$600 each.
Taiwanese citizens and their foreign spouses who hold residency visas are eligible for these vouchers, which will be issued as a booklet of six NT$100 vouchers after registration via the program's smartphone app.
The Ministry further explained that the voucher booklets are one-time per person and that no change will be given in their use. Those using electronic vouchers will be able to use them at any of the over 10,000 businesses taking part, from museums and concert halls through live houses and cinemas to bookstores and record stores.
A map of participating businesses can be found in the app, which will show users the nearest locations where they can spend their vouchers, the process of which requires just a scan of a QR code. Plans are also underway to enable consumers to spend their vouchers on purchasing tickets for movies or events through online platforms.
According to the Ministry, participating outlets come in four categories: performance spaces and music venues, bookstores and record stores, cinemas, and ticket pre-sellers. Personal studios that are registered businesses can also apply for inclusion in the program.
Through the app, businesses can register their details and be immediately included upon approval, and a specially designed system for daily tallying and weekly remuneration will streamline the process by which they apply for and receive the voucher funds.
Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te stressed that the Ministry has done its utmost to budget for the stimulus and that while not everyone will be able to collect vouchers in this program, they have strived for the fairest, most transparent method.
The Ministry has also worked to ensure that relevant facilities are sufficient and have been stress tested in hopes that all those interested in culture and the arts will be able to successfully collect their vouchers, he added.
For those without smartphones, like the elderly, young children, and the underprivileged, the Ministry is continuing to work on possible assistance programs that will include them so that everyone who enjoys culture and the arts will be able to do their part in revitalizing the industry.
The Ministry's "Arts FUN Go! (藝FUN券)" vouchers will be issued from noon on July 22 and remain valid through Dec. 31 of this year. The Ministry has also issued a graphic primer to introduce the stimulus program, and its dedicated hotline (02-7745-7979) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org) will begin operations on June 12.
More information is available here and here.