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Novel coronavirus epidemic impacts performing arts industry, STA Culture and Tourism Research Base takes on responsibility and makes suggestions and recommendations

The sudden outbreak of novel coronavirus epidemic in early 2020 has brought serious challenges to all industries in China including the performing arts industry as one of the most seriously affected industries. According to incomplete statistics, in the first quarter of this year, about 20,000 performances were cancelled or postponed, resulting in a direct box office loss of about RMB2.4 billion plus other losses estimated at nearly RMB10 billion.

In the process of overcoming the difficulties, the Ministry of culture and tourism set up the Culture and Tourism Research Base set up by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in the Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA) has taken active action and prompted submitted a report to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism making suggestions and recommendations on how the performing arts industry affected by the epidemic should respond to the crisis, learn from the epidemic prevention and control, and work towards the recovery of the industry after the epidemic is over.

In March 2018, STA and the National Centre for the Performing Arts jointly established the China Theatre Development Research Center. On 14 November of the same year, the centre was designated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism as the Culture and Tourism Reform and Development Research Base. In December last year, the Minister of Culture and Tourism changed the China Theatre Development Research Centre jointly established by STA and the National Centre for the Performing Arts from the “Culture and Tourism Reform and Development Research Base” to the “Culture and Tourism Research Base”. Hu Min, Party Secretary of STA, received the plaque from the leaders of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on behalf of STA at the plaque presentation ceremony held in the same month.

Since its inception, the China Theatre Development Research Center has promoted the emerging theatre (venue) research in China with innovative mechanism and filled in many gaps in the field of theatre (venue) research, thus enabling the theatre (venue) research to constantly present a situation that is suitable for the theatre (venue) construction and development in China.

On 21 January, Huang Changyong, President of STA, led a team to Beijing where he met with discussed with Chen Ping, director of the China Theatre Development Research Center, former and founding president of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, and chairman of the Beijing Federation of Literary and Art Circle for an in-depth discussion on the work of developing the research base. He also presented the letter of appointment for the director of the STA Culture and Tourism Research Base to Chen Ping.

During his stay in Beijing, President Huang Changyong and his team also met with Zhao Tiechun, vice president of the National Centre for the Performing Arts Theatre, and the heads of its relevant departments, thanking the National Centre for the Performing Arts for its long-term support for STA’s teaching practice, and discussing the feasible content of cooperation between the two sides in the construction of art management undergraduate program in 2020.

At present, the STA Culture and Tourism Research Base has undertaken such projects as Research on the Layout, Operation and Development of Theatre Construction and Research on Major Practical Issues of Theatres and Performance Groups commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, as well as many research and consulting projects for the Jiangsu Grand Theatre, Hebei Langfang Silk Road Center, Beijing City Sub-Center Theatre, Shanghai Grand Opera House and Shenzhen Opera House which are being built. This time, making timely suggestions and recommendations for the performing arts industry affected by the outbreak of novel coronavirus epidemic has further reflected the responsibility of think tanks.