EU-funded project pushes arts, culture, creativity in Vietnam

16:01 | 01/06/2018 Culture & Art

A three-year project aiming to support organizations and practitioners in the fields of arts, culture and creativity has been launched by the British Council (BC).  

A man looks at an art installation at the VICAS Art Studio - Source: baomoi.com

Entitled Cultural and Creative Hubs Vietnam, the project will be carried out by the BC in partnership with the Vietnam National Institute of Arts and Culture Studies (VICAS). To be implemented over a three year period from 2018 to 2021, the project will receive financial support of 450,000 EUR (US$518,000) from the European Union.

A cultural and creative hub (CCH) is a place, physical or virtual, which brings people together to express artistic ideas and creativity in a free and open environment, and in turn allows them to share a variety of artistic outputs with their communities.

In Vietnam, most CCHs are independent arts and creative spaces, often led and managed by artists and creative practitioners. These organisations are important players in the culture sector and have great potential for engaging in and supporting artistic expressions and the access to cultural life.

Having worked closely with the network of CCHs in Vietnam since 2014, and to support the implementation of the National Strategy for the Development of Cultural Industries to 2020, vision 2030, the BC and VICAS are now jointly implementing a series of activities in support of organizations and practitioners in the fields of arts, culture and creativity.

The project has been designed to encompass three inter-linked key components. The first surrounds capacity building for managers and owners of CCHs, as well as their artists and creative practitioners – in particular, in terms of management, audience development, and other specialised creative and cultural skills.

The second component aims to create opportunities – via policy dialogue and other platforms – for direct and open exchange towards relationship building between CCHs and government administration of the culture sector. This will facilitate both governmental support and CCHs contribution to the national strategy for the development of cultural industries.

The third component promotes sharing, learning, and networking between hubs from different parts of Vietnam, as well as between Vietnamese hubs and their European counterparts.

All activities in these three components will be largely driven by CCHs themselves to ensure that they receive the right support for designing and participating in bespoke activities that address their needs for further development. In turn, the development and sustainability of this network of Vietnamese CCHs will greatly contribute to the diverse arts and culture landscape of the country, and offer more cultural activities to Vietnamese audiences.

The project will not only focus on big cities such as Hanoi, HCM City and Da Nang, but also aims to reach further to connect with hubs and audiences in non-urban areas.

According to Head of the Arts and Creative Industries – BC Vietnam Nguyen Phuong Thao, over the past four years, the number of CCHs in Vietnam has increased from 40 to 140, mostly in big cities.

That’s why, through supporting the network of CCHs across the country, the project aims to further the development of the arts and the culture sector in the country.

Ambassador Bruno Angelet, head of the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam, said this new project “demonstrates the European Union Delegation in Vietnam’s mission to ensure the unity, consistency and effectiveness of the EU’s relationship with Vietnam”.

“It forms a part of our on-going programme of activities and support to Vietnam which spans across the fields of foreign policy, development cooperation, trade and economy, human rights, climate change, higher education as well as culture.”

Acting Director of the BC Vietnam Danny Whitehead said: “This project shows a strong partnership between the BC, the EU, and VICAS, and will promote artistic expression and creativity in Vietnam through developing a robust and dynamic network of creative hubs.”

Theo VNA