Posts Tagged ‘municipal government’

Wishful Thinking

Friday, July 29th, 2011

by Cathy Barbash

Hear ye hear ye, international arts consultants looking to profit by advising on the development of cultural industry infrastructure, in particular the development of theater districts, be advised that China’s own home-grown consultants have entered the fray. I had the opportunity recently to see one of their observations:

“I was in (second tier Chinese city) last week for a consultant project on a theatre district which the municipal government wants to build. As for setting up ongoing shows there, it seems the market is not big enough yet. The people would rather spend money in eating than go to the theatre. The city doesn’t have enough entertainment consumption demands. So, to build a feasible business model to run the theatres and to keep the district alive, we think we need financial, merchandise, convention, and hotel businesses to support the theatres. China has not had a theatre district like Broadway. The theatres in Beijing and Shanghai are both scattered. To build a theatre district in this city ….is quite risky. Nonetheless, the municipal government and the investors want to make this theatre district. It’s a great location, and a big planning area. Ah ha, it is a big idea, a big ambition.”

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

In other US-China arts-related news, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will be announcing shortly the final line-up for its CHINA: The Art of a Nation Festival, scheduled for late September. Evidently, the PRC Ministry of Culture was so thrilled by the success of the JFK’s 2005 Festival of China (brilliantly curated by Alicia Adams), they wanted a sequel.