Following the opening of more overseas offices and the launch of the "Spotlight Taiwan” project, the Ministry of Culture has created another funding initiative for cross-sector arts with a budget of NT$10 million (US$336,000). In addition to subsidizing both individuals and group members, the initiative is aimed at fostering multinational alliances of cultural organizations with incentives for cross-border and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
The "cross-sector collaborative cultural initiative” is an upgrade from the Ministry's previous subsidy mechanism for individual artists, according to WangGung-ling, director of the Ministry's Department of Cultural Exchanges.
By encouraging alliances between Taiwanese organizations and their foreign counterparts, the initiative involving two or more countries can enable artists to brainstorm, exchange their know-how, and work together to carry out projects and present their works. The purpose is to connect and integrate the resources of institutions in different countries and to establish long-term networking for cultural exchanges.
Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai named the innovative project "Rainbow Initiative” because "culture is as diverse and multifaceted as the rainbow.”It has already attracted the attention and interest of many foreign representative offices in Taiwan, including the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and the United States. Over 300 Taiwan-based private groups have also attended the project's information sessions to inquire about the details.
The rapid increase in the number of immigrants and migrant workers has also prompted the Ministry to consider ways to improve understanding and interaction between Taiwan and Southeast Asia, said Wang. Hence, to familiarize Taiwan with neighboring Southeast Asian cultures, the Ministry has unveiled the "Emerald Initiative,” using the bright hue to symbolize the diverse cultures of the region.
To reduce Taiwan's unfamiliarity to Southeast Asian cultures, the Ministry will encourage local art groups to visit the region and also invite Southeast Asian artists to experience Taiwanese culture and produce their works here. The project is expected to foster better connections between the local cultural groups and the international community.
Moreover, it also aims to create a friendly environment for the second generation of Southeast Asian immigrants to search for, participate in and identify with their parents' native cultures.
The NT$5-million Emerald Initiative has received 17 applications in its first stage. Although not many resources have been allocated for the first year, the Ministry will strive to devote more resources tocultural exchanges between Taiwan and Southeast Asia, said Wang.
Applications for the 2013 Rainbow Initiative will be accepted by Sept. 30. Application guidelines, forms and other details can be found here. The second application period for the Emerald Initiative is scheduled to begin in early December.