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June 2020|Vol. 7|English Edition
ACC 2020 Grant: A Grant Like None Other
Sustaining International Connectivity During COVID-19

The impact of the COVID-19 on the landscape in which we work is profound, yet our mission of advancing international dialogue, understanding, and respect remains essential. Amidst global trends of widespread xenophobia, intolerance, and misunderstanding, sustaining connectivity across borders is more crucial than ever.

As we continue to adapt our grantmaking to our current realities and future uncertainties, we are proud to announce a list of 2020 grants made to date, including time-sensitive grants approved by our Board of Trustees in May. The list below is the first half of 2020 Taiwan Grant; the second half will be announced later this year. 

Below is the 2020 Grantees from Taiwan:
  1. Yihsuan Chiu: M.A. Candidate, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College
  2. Contemporary Legend Theatre
  3. Gang-A-Tsui Theater
  4. Taiwan Alumni Pandemic Response Funds
2020 Global Grant List: https://www.asianculturalcouncil.org/zh-hant/our-work/grantee-database/2020-grants-list

Offcial Announcement on ACC Website:https://www.asianculturalcouncil.org/zh-hant/about-acc/stories/sustaining-international-connectivity-during-covid-19

Yihsuan Chiu
Contemporary Legend Theatre
Artistic Director  WU, Xing-Quo (left)
Executive Director LIN, Hsiu-Wei (right)
Gang-a Tsui Theater: Zhuwen Elopes with the Ghost

Group 33 Activities in June

Group 33 Taipei: Documentary Film & Concert
Following the high attendance rate in May, Group 33 Taipei events in June had close to 30 members participating.

The speaker of the first event was an Oscar nominated documentarian WANG, Shui-Bo. Born in 1960 in Shandong Province, China, WANG underwent Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution, became a propaganda artist in the late 1970s, and joined the Communist Party in 1980. In the fall of 1989, WANG moved to Montreal, Canada, as a graduate student. He began his career in film assisting world famous Canadian animator Fredric Back on his last film, the Academy Award-nominated The Mighty River. This was the first movie that WANG shared with Group 33 members. 

The second movie that he shared was his first production, SUNRISE OVER TIANANMEN SQUARE, which is an autobiography of his youth during the historic upheavals of the 1960s, '70s and '80s; the film was nominated for the Academy Award in 1999. Even though WANG already went over time, everyone was so mesmerized by him that he played the third film, THEY CHOSE CHINA.

The second event was a concert by Professor TENG, Chi-Long (Tenor), who currently works full time at the Department of Music, Taipei National University of the Arts. Born in 1969, he graduated from the University of Music Trossingen in Germany. He has worked with German conductor Helmuth Rilling and Frieder Bernius, British conductor Philip Pickett, and Chinese conductor Jahja Ling. 

This concert focused on analyzing the key differences among the music of Germany, French, Italian, and China. He performed 7 pieces, such as Lindenbaum and Die Forelle by F. Schubert and Tonight by Leonard Bernstein.

This concert was organized by our 33 member, Sophia Huang’s husband, Mr. Richard Lee (left), who is the chairman of Taipei Philharmonic Foundation for Culture and Education. As a phenomenal singer himself, he performed O sole mio with Professor TENG (right), and won a big round of applause!
Group 33 Central: Broadway Seminar
As an influential advocate and speaker of classical music and Broadway, Lu Daiwei was invited to share the different trends and styles of contemporary Broadway and musical after the 2000s. Members of Group 33 Central were able to gain deeper understanding of the different aspects of Broadway after his lecture. 
Group 33 South: Chairman Installation Party & Music Appreciation 

Celebrating its 12th Anniversary, Group 33 South new Chairman SHEN TSAI Hsiu-Cheng, also a board member of ACCTF, initiated a toned-down installation tea party due to COVID-19. The former Chairman LIN Chen-Mei handed over the baton, symbolizing a continuation of support to the local and international dialogue, understanding, and respect in the field of arts. 

Chairman Installation Tea Party
Former Chairman LIN Chen-Mei (left) and new Chairman SHEN TSAI Hsiu-Cheng (right). They both serve as ACCTF board members. 
Before the tea party, Group 33 South had a music appreciation seminar with one of the most renowned Taiwanese pianists of his generation, Andrei YEH, who belongs to the H. Neuhaus branch of the Russian piano school. He was a pupil to L. Naumov, Professor of Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. The solid training YEH received in Moscow prepared him for the performance of not only large-scale Russian works, but also European repertoires ranging from Bach to the contemporaries.
Internationally acclaimed Taiwanese pianistAndrei YEH, performed for the group.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre: 63 Days, 11 Cities, 27 Performances, and Finally Home Sweet Home.

ACCTF Director Rita Chang (left 1),  Cloud Gate Executive Director YEH Wen-Wen (left 2), and Cloud Gate Artistic Director CHENG Tsung-Lung (right 1).

Right after CHENG Tsung-Lung (ACC 2011) succeeded LIN Hwai-Min (ACC 2007) as the Artistic Director of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in the start of 2020, CHENG encountered the first big challenge, COVID-19. Fortunately, none of their performances in Europe (from January to March) were canceled, in fact lockdown or outbreak followed right after the last performance in Sweden. The troupe returned to Taiwan early March, and underwent 21 days of self-quarantine. Everyone is healthy and well, and is now rehearsing for the new production coming up in October 2020. Even though the rest of the international performances in 2020 are postponed, CHENG believes now is the best time to reconnect and recharge himself for the future. 

ACCTF Director Rita Chang (right 2), CHENG Tsung-Lung (left 2), ACCTF staff Lihsin Ho (right 1) and Joyce Chen (left 1). 
As theaters in Taiwan start to reopen, the burden of “online performances” or “going digital” will soon be lifted off the shoulders of the troupes. However, CHENG pointed out that art + technology is an inevitable challenge of performing artists and groups, disregarding the vital importance of being physically present with the audience. As sharing videos online becomes the norm, CHENG believes developing other creative possibilities, such as panorama film, multiple-camera setup, VR, will soon take place. Along the same line, YEH Wen-Wen, the Executive Director of Cloud Gate, sees the pandemic crisis as the turning point to reach new audiences, such as the elderly population, millennial generation, and those without the habit of going to the theaters.

Watch 15 minutes of CHENG’s production Lunar Halo Online (until 8/31): 

About Lunar Halo: In collaboration with leading musician figures Sigur Rós and Kjartan Holm, CHENG incorporated the natural phenomenon of lunar halo as the theme to bring attention to our own existence in this ever-changing digital world.

http://taiwaneye.koo.org.tw/artist09.html  

Taiwan Brings Ray Tseng (ACC 2019) Back to Life

After returning to Taiwan from New York City early May 2020, Ray Tseng (ACC 2019) had already had 5 face-to-face meetings right after 21 days of self-quarantine. To Ray, coming back to Taiwan is literally coming back to life.
  Ray (right 1) with other grantees when they first arrived NYC in March.

When Ray began her grant trip the first two weeks in March, no one, not even Ray herself would have expected a complete lockdown of The Big Apple, and a sudden intensified racism towards Asian. It wasn't until she was being spat at then she realized that tension, panic, and hatred all began from the fear of death, followed by the surfacing of deeply rooted systemic racism. However, Ray did not let the prejudice of others stop her from speaking up for the international students who were kicked out of their housing. Even though Ray’s grant trip was disrupted, Ray felt very fortunate to have ACC by her side throughout, and blessed on the last day for her flight was the only one not canceled at JFK. With the expectation of finding her voice through the grant trip, Ray was instead challenged by the chaos and uncertainty that engulfed the world. When will she resume her grant trip? How will COVID-19 and BLM protest shape New York City? At this point nothing is certain. 

Ray (right) and Fredie (left) went for a walk at Riverside Park since the pandemic outbreak on 3/14. 
As grantees expect to find their voices through exploring the world; however, while the world is in pandemic chaos, Taiwan is an isolated island with COVID-19 under control. Fortunately, visual and performing arts are reopening, but this quick “back to normal” does not include the international connectivities that Taiwan needs and the continued development of online channels and programs of arts due to the lack of urgency. How do artists and art professionals stay connected to their audience? How will COVID-19 reshape the field of arts and culture? These questions should soon be addressed.
Ray visited ACCTF office after 21 days of self-quarantine. There are 3 33 members who joined the discussion. 
https://www.facebook.com/acctaipei/
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