The Legislative Yuan passed the long-awaited "Act Governing the Establishment of the National Center for Performing Arts” on Jan. 9, successfully marking the National Theater and Concert Hallin Taipei, the Taichung National Opera House, and the Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts in Kaohsiung City as the three principal venues for the performing arts in Taiwan.
Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai said the Ministry of Culture will strive to complete the remaining tasks as soon as possible, including forming a board of directors, establishing an evaluation system, and managing the Center's public assets.
Soon to be incorporated as a foundation, the National Center for Performing Arts is classified as an administrative corporation comprising the three aforementioned art centers. The three national venues have a combined 11 performance halls and provide a total of 13,193 seats.
The three venues will compete and collaborate with each other at the same time. On one hand, they will help Taiwan connect with the international community. On the other hand, they will serve the general public and promote Taiwan's rich and diverse culture, the Culture Minister pointed out.
The Center will become a major milestone in Taiwan's cultural development because art and cultural resources will no longer be concentrated in northern Taiwan, and the three metropolises in Taiwan will have their own world-class professional performance venues, said Lung.
The Act was scheduled to be approved in the previous legislative session, but the inclusion of the Taichung Opera House sparked public debate, and passage was postponed until this session.
The Ministry looks forward to utilizing the Taichung Opera House to its true potential, and anticipates that the three national venues in northern, central, and southern Taiwan will form a triad of world-class performance centers to boost overall cultural development in the country.
However, the Opera House cannot be managed by the Center until the Taichung City Government donates the asset; thus Minister Lung urged the city and city council to complete the procedure as soon as possible.
The Center will play a key role in the Ministry's overall art and cultural policy, and it will form a close partnership with the Taiwan Brand Project and performance troupes supported by the Three-Tier Funding Project.
In response to the current global trend of theater development, the Center will combine visual arts with technology, and through professional management, the cultivation of performing arts talent, and the strengthening of related resources, the Center is expected to upgrade the caliber of the performing arts in Taiwan.
A preparatory committee has already been established last December to assist with the ensuing legal work and planning. The Ministry is now scheduled to publish related regulations in March and to submit a proposed list of the Center's board members to Premier Jiang Yi-huah in May for approval.
After all procedures are completed, the Center will be inaugurated on July 1 as the highest-level independent art and cultural venue in Taiwan.
The National Theater and Concert Hall is situated within Taipei’s National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
When completed in 2014, the Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts will serve both as an architectural landmark and an art hub that will enrich the cultural scene of the Kaohsiung area.
The Taichung National Opera House, designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito, is scheduled to be completed in 2014.