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British Council launches culture, arts project

Released at: 08:50, 22/05/2018

British Council launches culture, arts project

Young audiences at an art exhibition by the British Council at the Hanoi Old Quarter Cultural Exchange Centre. Photo: Julie Vola

Cultural and Creative Hubs launched around Vietnam.

by Le Diem

The British Council, in partnership with the Vietnam National Institute of Arts and Culture Studies (VICAS) has announced the introduction of the Cultural and Creative Hubs (CCHs) project in Vietnam during the 2018-2021 period.

With financial support of 450,000 euros from the EU, the project aims to further the development of arts and culture in Vietnam through supporting the network of CCHs around the country.

A CCH is a place - physical or virtual - that brings people together to express artistic ideas and creativity in a free and open environment and 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 organizations are important players in the cultural sector and have great potential for engaging in and supporting artistic expressions and access to a 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 and Vision to 2030, the British Council and VICAS are 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 CCH managers and owners as well as their artists and creative practitioners, in particular in terms of management, audience development, and other specialized 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 administrators of the cultural sector. This will facilitate both government support and the contribution of CCHs to the national strategy for the development of cultural industries. The third component promotes the sharing, learning, and networking among 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 the 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, offering cultural activities to Vietnamese audiences. The project will not only focus on big cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang but also aim to reach further to connect with hubs and audiences in non-urban areas.

Culture is an enabler and driver of sustainable development, a way of engaging communities in shaping the shared future and supporting open, inclusive and stable societies, according to the British Council. Artistic and cultural approaches empower diverse groups to participate in cross-cultural dialogue, creative and collective problem solving, and capacity building. Culture also provides tools and spaces for creative expression and gives voice for individuals to raise awareness, build solidarity, and encourage changes. The Cultural and Creative Hubs Vietnam project represents a strong commitment by the EU, the British Council in Vietnam, and VICAS to support Vietnamese arts and cultural organizations in their artistic expression and creativity.

Founded in 1934, the British Council is the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. They work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education, and civil society.

Established in 1971 and having had a number of name changes, VICAS is a professional scientific unit under the management of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, with the functions of researching and implementing scientific activities and conducting post-graduate training in arts, culture, and cultural tourism.

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