The community arts project Arts Together in Beitou, initiated in 2014, is a joint effort by Hong-gah and PeiTou Culture Foundation (PTCF) to seek the joining of the museum’s abundant arts resources and the foundation’s pouring effort in cultivating the local. As we enter the very second year of this project, we have 3 Beitou local elementary schools to join as our partners, i.e. Taipei Municipal Qingjiang Elementary School, Taipei Municipal Datun Elementary School, and Taipei Municipal Yixian Elementary School. While looking forward to a long-term partnership, this collaboration facilitated the forming of an arts learning network, encouraging the children in Beitou to explore and to learn of their own community, while using arts as a mean to give voice to the people and this community.
Process is crucial in community arts. Children as artists were guided through the initial phase of thinking and planning for their artwork, and together they walked into the community for further observations and discovers, getting to know more of the place and earth they live on.
In 2016, Arts Together in Beitou has also carried on the spirit of creating a platform for community encountering and communicating. Through co-creating exhibitions with Hong-gah, children were given the stage to present themselves: whether the Peach Blossom Banquet organized by Taipei Municipal Qingjiang Elementary School; or the Mime Performance by Taipei Municipal Yixian Elementary School; and last but not least, the conduct of guided tours during the opening of the exhibition by coordinators from Taipei Municipal Qingjiang Elementary School. One could perceive not only the teachers’ endeavors in innovative teaching and connecting with the local society, but also the children’s creativeness and delight throughout the process of their artsmaking. We hope that this series of activities and performances could bring about opportunities for schools and museum and the local community to connect and communicate. Together as a community, we could go on further.