Wednesday August 15, 2018

P600M pushed for arts sector

BAGUIO. Local artist Roland Bay-an works on his portrait of a woman at the artist lounge of Pasakalye Arts Circle along Harrison Road. Baguio City is eyeing a multi–million budget for the city’s action plan being a creative city. (SSB photo)

BAGUIO City Councilor Maylen Yaranon is eyeing to have a multi-million budget for the city’s arts and crafts sector.

Over P600 million annual budget for implementing the action plan from city’s internal budgetary allocations has been proposed by Yaranon set to be implemented in phases in the coming years.

At least P630 million will be allotted for study preparation, infra construction and refurbishment, and management with another P40 million for events execution and familiarization trips.

“It’s our commitment to Unesco Creative Cities Network (UCCN) that the city council has to approve, but may be subject to change depending on our available budget,” Yaranon said.

Last year, Unesco declared Baguio as the first Creative City in the Philippines which is now among the 64 cities from 44 countries in the UCCN.

Yaranon in a presentation said the city is now has a four-year period to put into order crafts and folk arts to stay true to the creative city tag given by Unesco.

Baguio’s inclusion to the UCCN mandates a responsibility to implement activities directly in line with the network’s mission statement and strategic framework by providing financial support, coordination with a steering group and liaising with the UNESCO secretariat and to communicate regularly.

The city was included in the CCN network for crafts and folk arts of the Cordilleras seen in architecture, parks, textile, fabrics, furniture, and furnishing fashion accessories, paintings, sculpture, homes and building designs in the City.

Under Unesco, all creative cities commit to develop and exchange innovative best practices to promote creative industries, strengthen participation in cultural life, and integrate culture into sustainable urban development policies.

Under the plan, an urban development initiative is also needed to further develop the Baguio Creative Circuit (BCCC) that is seen to physically link existing buildings and institutions as venues for showcasing Baguio City’s creative spirit.

Areas will be opened to the public and each shall highlight creative activities and purposes that will serve to educate, inspire, and motivate the public to embrace creativity as an essential element for sustainable urban living.

Initial areas include Burnham Park for creative performances and cultural gardens, the Baguio Museum for Ethnic and cultural displays, Sunshine Park for open space performance arts, exhibits, creative activities for the youth, the University of the Philippines for ethnographic museum and center for arts and crafts and the Baguio Convention Center for creative performances, creative spaces and exhibits.

The city’s creative council is now preparing for an international Arts Festival in November at the ruins of the Diplomat Hotel featuring an expo where a showcase of crafts will be highlighted.

Sectoral representatives on the creative council include Alec Mapalo for the Performing Arts, for Visual Arts, National Artist for Visual Arts, Benedicto Cabrera, for film, Kidlat Tahimik, Sculpture and Carving, Gilbert Gano, Metal Crafts, Romel Marcelo, Weaving, Laida Lim and for Literary, Frank Cimatu.

Yaranon’s ordinance institutionalizing the Baguio City Creative Arts Festival in the month of November of every year is also is up for second reading.