Inaugural Statement of the Taiwan Association of Cultural Policy Studies
2015.06.04 May 16th of 2015 is a historical date for cultural public sphere in Taiwan. On that day, 34 artists, cultural practitioners and academics assembled and announced the inauguration of the Taiwan Association of Cultural Policy Studies (TACPS). TACPS is an autonomous and not-for-profit legal organization. Members of TACPS come across a wide range of disciplines – from cultural policy, arts management, cultural heritage, performing arts, visual arts, art critics, community regeneration, cultural and creative industries, arts market, cultural economy, film and media studies, popular music, to international cultural relations. The mission of TACPS is to create an open and accessible knowledge sharing platform, and to develop a public sphere that would facilitate cultural collaborations, dialogues, engagements and rational debates among different agents, including academia, NPOs, cultural enterprises, creative industries and governmental cultural institutions in Taiwan and abroad. Since the 1990s, Taiwanese artists, academics, and cultural practitioners in art-cultural foundations and NGOs have been engaging actively and positively in public cultural affairs. Policy makers in Taiwan are making their attempts to devise localized discourses and models of practice in cultural policy, industries, and citizens’ engagement in public cultural sphere. Nevertheless, pubic cultural sectors (including City Cultural Bureaus and the newly established Ministry of Culture in 2012) are unable to integrate and allocate the already limited cultural resources to meet the expectation of citizens. For a decade, the government failed to provide a clear mid-term and long-term cultural strategy for the state and city. One of the key reasons is the lack of consistent and persistent ground research on cultural policies and open accesses for citizens to participate fully in cultural policy making. The founding of TACPS represents the rise of an independent, professional, yet grassroots, think-tank of the third sector for Taiwan’s cultural policy research. TACPS is dedicated to informing policies that may cast impacts upon cultural governance in Taiwan. Based on socially embedded and in-depth research, it will also play a critical role in monitoring and evaluating governmental cultural policy practices in the form of public forums, rigorous intellectual debates and media influences. TACPS provides a platform for scholars, artists and cultural practitioners to exchange their works, experiences and ideas across disciplinary lines and institutional positions for capacity building. What is needed in Taiwanese society at present is probably a “gestalt-switch,” a fundamental change of worldview, mind-set, or an informing spirit of core values for an active reform of cultural governance. Driven by the principles of autonomy, flexibility, inclusiveness, and plurality, TACPS strives to bring about an emerging model of cultural policy with Taiwanese characteristics via a bottom-up approach. It expects to connect Taiwanese cultural policy studies with the East Asian, American, European, and global networks.
To fulfil its role, the TACPS sets the following as its main tasks:
- Engaging in thematic cultural policy and cultural governance research projects;
- Facilitating academic exchanges locally and globally to strengthen international recognition in Taiwan cultural policy research;
- Promoting cultural policy thesis, periodicals, and book publications;
- Organizing regular policy forums for monitoring, evaluating public cultural sectors and providing constructive dialogues;
- Participating in cultural governance, policy-making and lobbying;
- Enhancing educators’ content knowledge and instructional skills in areas of cultural policy and cultural governance;
- Participating in governmental and private-sponsored research projects, planning initiatives, and providing professional consultation and support.