The Ministry held a preparatory meeting at Taipei’s Howard Civil Service International House on Aug. 19 to discuss issues raised by 15 public forums that were held from March throughout summer.
The 15 forums explored six broad topics – including cultural assets, cultural technology, culture of new immigrants, and youth culture – and gathered information from professionals in different fields to help the government make cultural policies that meet the expectations of the public.
Hosted by six conveners, the preparatory meeting was joined by roughly 300 people, encompassing advisory committees, scholars, and experts as well as representatives of civic groups, public sectors, and local government agencies.
The meeting reviewed the six main topics of the upcoming 2017 National Cultural Congress, which is slated for Sept. 2. Moreover, the official event website is now offering a platform for public participation and submitted suggestions that met the public petition requirements were also discussed in the Aug. 19 meeting.
The Cultural Democracy group suggested setting budget limits and annual growth rates; establishing administrative institutions or intermediary organizations for practicing the arm’s length principle; creating a professional training program for senior civil servants and junior cultural administrators; establishing a user-friendly environment for young people to access and participate in culture; and requiring the National Trust to be written as part of the draft Culture Basic Law for the long-term development of culture.
The Cultural Creativity group suggested that the overall funds for culture and art should be expanded by combining resources of the Ministry of Education to increase the benefits of artists instead of using volunteers or reducing salaries due to insufficient funds. Also, systems like art appraisals and low-interest loans should be introduced to current mechanisms for rewarding artists.
The Cultural Creativity group also called for inclusive planning when it comes to building archives for art documents, exhibition manuals, and other promotional materials and flyers.
The Cultural Vitality group gave suggestions on the review mechanism for cultural assets, including how the composition of asset-reviewing committees should reflect different areas of expertise, and how each review should be made transparent and available for members of the public to participate.
Regarding the budget for cultural heritage preservation, the Cultural Vitality group suggested that future policies should encourage enterprises and private foundations to participate in cultural preservation projects.
The Cultural Vitality group also made suggestions on the issue of community building, stating that policies of community building should promote the participation of youths and schools in the management and exhibition curating of cultural venues, and create a system for supporting youth participation and communication.
Focusing on cultivating intermediary talents for cultural technology, the Cultural Transcendence group suggested reinforcing the infrastructure of cultural technology and utilizing TAF Innovation Base to promote culture access and participation, enhance digital and cultural integration, and initiate local and transnational cooperation.
The Cultural Transcendence group also called for the proposed Culture Card – a smart card program for cultural activities – to be examined and evaluated thoroughly and handled by professional institutions before implementation.
The Cultural Continuity group suggested expanding the scale of Taiwan Broadcasting System network and introducing the concept of social enterprise as well as comprehensive and interdisciplinary courses required for art and cultural related departments to foster students’ marketing and planning abilities.
The Cultural Tolerance group pointed out that cultural subjectivity is an issue that many young people and groups are exploring and searching for while promoting cultural exchange. Thus, the group suggested the Ministry of Culture to cooperate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide Taiwanese youths with more opportunities for participation through joint offering of resources.
Moreover, the Cultural Tolerance group suggested aiding non-governmental organizations in their overseas exchanges, directing more resources towards new immigrants and migrant workers, creating a friendly environment for international users, cultivating children from immigrant families as foreign-language teachers, and deepening cultural investment in Southeast Asia to help Taiwan connect with international communities.
The Aug. 19 meeting helped to bring together public consensus on cultural issues discussed through a series of nationwide forums, and shaped several feasible methods and policies that will be deliberated upon in the upcoming National Cultural Conference – the conclusions of which will be used as reference for formulating cultural policies in the future.
The two-day National Cultural Conference will be held on Sept. 2 and 3 at the Howard Civil Service International House. Please register at http://nccwp.moc.gov.tw/.