Taiwan takes its first steps towards becoming an international hub for arts and cultural nonprofit organizations on Aug. 15 with the opening of a Taipei branch office by global arts organization Living Arts International.
Under a four-year agreement signed between the Ministry of Culture and Living Arts International, the organization registered its Taipei office as "Living Arts International Taiwan Office" in March and will now be operating from the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab in Da'an District to promote cultural exchanges, incubate new talent, and open up trans-national opportunities.
The New York-based Living Arts International has long been invested in Southeast Asian culture and arts. The Ministry has previously collaborated with its Phnom Penh office, known as Cambodian Living Arts, on a musical called "A Requiem for Cambodia: Bangsokol" on Khmer Rouge brutality, and will continue to make headway under the New Southbound Policy with the NGO's help.
The Ministry will also work with Cambodian Living Arts' sister organization Mekong Cultural Hub and the British Council to hold "SEAΔ," which will host 10 fellows from the 10 nations of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom.
The "SEAΔ" program creates space for cultural practitioners to reflect on how their work in arts and culture can contribute to sustainable development within Southeast Asia through individual and collective leadership.
Through the two aforementioned projects and more, Living Arts International will help make networking prospects, collaboration opportunities, and other relevant information more available to Taiwan cultural professionals. The Ministry will also work with the nonprofit on securing other opportunities that facilitate exchanges between Taiwan and the international arts community.
The Aug. 15 accord-signing ceremony was attended by Dr. Richard C. Helfer, chairman of Living Arts International Taiwan Office; Phloeun Prim, executive director of Cambodian Living Arts; and Frances Rudgard, director of programs and operations at Cambodian Living Arts.