The Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA) said it would try a new subsidy scheme that compensates performers based on the number of tickets they sell for their shows.
In Taiwan, many individual artists and performance groups rely on government subsidies to see their productions through. Often, they apply for and receive the subsidy before deciding on the scale of new shows.
Under the new scheme, the council will not provide any financial support for groups before their performances, but instead will offer grants based on overall box office sales afterward.
Four groups have been selected to test the new scheme at the Second Huashan Living Arts Festival from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31. Each will be entitled to a subsidy equal to 75 percent of the value of total ticket sales.
CCA Minister Emile Sheng (盛治仁) said the council would keep the traditional way of offering subsidies, but the new scheme gives performers a stake in the financial success of their shows. He hopes groups will spend more time and effort promoting their works, and give audiences a say in how big a subsidy they should receive.
Professor Wu Jing-jyi (吳靜吉), who is in charge of the program, said Taiwan needed to have quality production teams and producers to bring their productions to a wider audience.
“A good producer connects the ideas of a director or a playwright with the audience and knows how to find resources and do effective marketing,” he said.
Faidaw Fagod, artistic director of the Formosa Aboriginal Song and Dance Troupe, one of the four chosen groups, said he supports the new idea.
“As a performer, we always remind ourselves to be better every time we produce new work. What the audience thinks of us is one thing that can make us better,” Fagod said, adding that he is not worried about ticket sales.