The Chinese government will spend 429 million yuan ($70 million) to support domestic art projects in a drive to boost the country’s cultural influence. As part of the China National Arts Fund (CNAF), a state fund in its first year, the money will go to 394 projects in four categories: stage productions, paintings-calligraphy-photography, communication and exchange as well as talent cultivation. The fund was in line with President Xi Jinping’s remarks last month urging the country’s artists to create more works that are artistically outstanding and morally inspiring, calling art and culture an indispensable contributor to the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. The lion’s share of the fund, 230 million yuan, will go to stage art such as dramas, musicals, traditional local operas and children’s plays.
According to CNAF vice-Director-General Zhao Shaohua, more than 70 productions, including stage plays, songs, photography and traditional operas, drew inspiration from the ‘Chinese dream’ theme. Applications were received between 1 June and 1 August. Winners of the funds will be publicised by the end of the year, with one in ten being awarded. According to CNAF Director Huang Jiayu, ‘art projects winning this year’s fund will feature rich thoughts, high artistic values and are easy to enjoy, and a special focus is on those targeting grassroots people and the remote, impoverished and ethnic regions’.