With the support of the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB), the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) will step up its efforts to support the development and needs of the arts sector by launching various expansion and adjustment work plans as follows:
1. Support Scheme for Arts & Cultural Sector
The recent closure of cultural venues to reduce the risks of the spread of the novel coronavirus in the community, or the cancellation of arts and cultural events at various venues as an action taken by arts organisations/ practitioners for the same purpose, as well as the recent social events that lasted for several months have impacted arts and cultural activities to various extents. HKADC understands that the arts and cultural sector is having operational difficulties. Supported by HAB, the Hong Kong Arts Development Fund will receive an extra funding from an increased matching ratio to provide a one-off measure “Support Scheme for Arts & Cultural Sector” at a total of HK$5,000,000. It aims at offering greater support to small and medium arts groups and arts practitioners who receive HKADC’s Year Grant and Project Grant (except Grant for Cultural Exchange), Literary Arts Platform Project, Eminent Arts Group Scheme and Matching Fund Scheme. The HKADC stands shoulder to shoulder with the sector to tide over the temporary disruption. The Scheme is expected to benefit 300 arts and cultural units. For details, please visit www.hkadc.org.hk/SupportScheme.
2. Cultural Exchange Programme
To reduce the administrative work of the sector, from the year 2020/21 onwards, HAB will transfer the work and funding from the Arts Development Fund (Cultural Exchange Project) to HKADC to support overseas exchange programmes via HKADC’s Cultural Exchange Project Grant. Hence it would be not necessary for the arts groups and arts practitioners to apply to both organisations for funding for different items of the same exchange programme.
Starting from April 2020, HKADC’s Cultural Exchange Project Grant will be divided into two parts: I) Cultural Exchange (Trial) and II) Cultural Exchange (General). The new Cultural Exchange (Trial) cares for artists / arts groups who are less involved in overseas exchange activities and may undertake relatively small scale projects, especially those grantees of the HAB’s Arts Development Fund (Cultural Exchange Project). For the Cultural Exchange (General), the maximum grant for each approved application will be increased from $500,000 to $800,000 for arts groups with outstanding overseas exchange experiences. So that they can reduce the administrative work of applying to HAB and HKADC for funding of the same projects. This integration plan hopes to cater to different needs of the Sector by providing a “one-stop” cultural exchange programme and facilitate them to plan more effectively to promote cultural exchange between Hong Kong and other places.
Since February 2016, HKADC has been offering four rounds of applications of Cultural Exchange Project Grant every year and received positive response with increasing demand from the sector. After this integration, it not only encourages local artists and arts groups to showcase their artistic achievements abroad, but also expands their horizons and promotes Hong Kong as an international cultural metropolis. More importantly, it widens the funding beneficiaries to include talented artists / arts groups with less overseas exchange experiences and / or those organising relatively small scale of projects. The enhanced Cultural Exchange Project will also facilitate the operation of those with more experience.
3. Year Grant Selection Criteria
HKADC has launched the “Year Grant Scheme” since 1998 to strategically nurture local professional arts groups, and support their development towards artistic excellence. The “Year Grant Scheme” has been gradually enhanced since 2016/17. Last year, the Scheme was simplified to offer grant period of either one year or three years. This year, the Coming Call for Proposals will further revise Section 9 “Criteria for Proposal Assessment” to enable the Sector to fully understand the requirements of the “Year Grant Scheme”, to support the operation and production needs of outstanding professional arts organisations or representative groups in different art forms and assist their development to their full potential. HKADC now invites eligible organisations to submit proposals for the Year Grant. For details, please visit www.hkadc.org.hk/yeargrant2020.
4. Training of Arts Administrators
HKADC is committed to nurturing local artistic talents and raising their level of excellence, this year, HKADC will continue to provide internship, study and overseas exchange opportunities for working arts administrators to broaden their horizons and enhance professional capabilities through “Training of Arts Administration”. To facilitate arts administrations to make personal plans, the Council’s initiatives this year will be introduced which include: “Overseas Cultural Internship and Training Programmes”, the “Arts Administration Scholarships” and the “Overseas Training Scheme for Arts Administrators”. Details of various programmes are available at www.hkadc.org.hk/training-opportunities.
5. Arts-in-School Partnership Scheme
Funded by HAB, HKADC has launched the Arts-in-School Partnership Scheme since 2018 to explore more arts space and foster collaboration between the arts sector and schools. The Scheme promotes better use of school premises by facilitating participating schools to open their facilities to arts organisations / artists for artistic creation and various arts activities as well as fosters collaboration between local arts organisations / artists and schools to bring arts into school campus. Enthusiastic response has been received since its launch and the Scheme now invites local arts organisations and artists to participant in the Third Round. HKADC hopes to expand the Scheme to strengthen the collaboration between arts organisations and schools. For details, please visit www.hkadc.org.hk/AiS.