National Performing Arts Center launches NT$13 million aid package

The press announcing the new aid package in National Theater in Taipei.

TAIPEI (CNA) — The National Performing Arts Center (NPAC), which operates Taiwan’s top arts venues, announced Monday an updated aid package of NT$13 million (US$433,465) to help local groups and workers in the industry at a time when most performances have been canceled or postponed.

There are still many things to do during the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 conoravirus pandemic, said NPAC Chairman Ju Tzong-ching (朱宗慶), pointing out that the center plans to pool its resources to support the industry so that it can weather the current storm.

The announcement followed previous relief measures introduced by the center on March 12, and NT$13 million earmarked for the further aid will come from its NT$3.09 billion budget this year, it said Tuesday.

According to the center, it will further support and invest in postponed productions, offer more backing on development of new projects, plan ahead for future productions and hold training courses for workers in the industry.

The center will also begin showing live or prerecorded performances online as part of its plan to develop streaming services, as well as organizing outdoor performances and events that adhere to the health authorities’ social distancing guidelines.

In the National Theater in Taipei

In addition, the center’s National Theater and Concert Hall in Taipei, National Taichung Theater and the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying), will prioritize Taiwanese groups’ applications for the use of the venues through the first half of 2021, it said.

The National Symphony Orchestra, which is also under the NPAC, has already began showing its first video of a chamber music series on its Facebook page Sunday after all concerts in its current season through June were canceled.

The orchestra said it is working with the Public Television Service to bring live-streaming performances in May and June, as well as planning future programs with local musicians.

Weiwuying, meanwhile, began a series of six weekly online concerts April 24 that were jointly organized with Kaohsiung’s Bureau of Cultural Affairs.

The next concert will be performed by the Kaohsiung Chinese Orchestra and shown on YouTube at 7:30 p.m. Friday.