The National Performing Arts Center (NPAC) yesterday revealed a series of measures it is taking to support artists and keep the performing arts alive during the COVID-19 pandemic, including focusing more on ways to connect with audiences online.
The NPAC consists of the National Theater & Concert Hall (NTCH), the National Taichung Theater and the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying), as well as the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO).
The NTCH has proposed several initiatives, including raising the production budget for programs it was due to host or cohost, but have been postponed or canceled, so that performance groups can continue to work on their shows and perform them when the pandemic ends.
It would also offer an approximately 300-hour paid training program beginning in June, the NTCH said, adding that it aims this year to train at least six technicians who would be able to work with it long term.
Starting in July, it would increase the frequency of its uploads on its YouTube channel — “NTCH togo” — from once per month to once per week, it said, adding that featured content would include behind-the-scenes footage of productions.
Through the NTCH’s online ticketing system, people who purchased tickets to performances that were canceled because of the pandemic can, instead of receiving a refund, choose to donate the sum they paid to the shows’ organizers, it said.
Meanwhile, National Taichung Theater said that 43 productions that had rented spaces at the theater for performances scheduled from last month to June have been canceled.
To accommodate the 25 among them that still wished to stage productions, it has adjusted its performance schedule for the second half of the year, it added.
While following health authorities’ guidelines, Weiwuying said that it would continue to host its outdoor dance event on the first Wednesday night of every month.
It has also partnered with the Kaohsiung Bureau of Cultural Affairs to host a six-week “digital concert hall” program on YouTube at 7:30pm every Saturday, it said, adding that the program started on Saturday last week and includes live-streamed and prerecorded concerts.
Until the end of next month, its YouTube channel would feature 10 to 15-minute theatrical performances every Sunday at 9:30pm from groups working in a variety of disciplines, Weiwuying said.
The NSO said that from April 13 to April 18 it made 15 recordings of a wide range of music, including modern classical and movie scores to be released online as part of “NSO Online,” which debuted on Sunday.
Next month and in June, it also plans to partner with NTCH and the Public Television Service to host three live-streamed concerts online, it added.
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