The 31st Macao Arts Festival (MAF), organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau, has been concluded successfully. Themed “Restart”, this year’s Festival was held in the midst of the pandemic, thanks to the efforts of the participating arts and cultural groups, presenting 20 programmes and art exhibitions as well as outreach activities, in a total of nearly 100 sessions. The programmes were well received by the public, with the overall ticketing sales rate reaching nearly 99%.
Due to the impact of the pandemic, the 31st Macao Arts Festival was postponed to May this year, featuring a series of highlighted programmes, such as White Snake, Taking Leave, Wild Flower, Trinity and the Huangmei opera Dream of the Red Chamber, passing on tradition and innovation. The local programmes Drunken Dragon Dance, See You through Memories, Dance Duo, The Never-ending Task of Lust for Failure, Property Guide at Lou Kau Mansion and A Short Time Escape demonstrated Macao’s cultural diversity. The concerts A European Tour with Mozart and Dialogue between the East and the West offered musical feasts that filled the souls of all audience. The shows On the Other Side of Macao – A magical adventure and The Coloane Game, as well as Jiufeng Mountain and Boss for a Day which exude the essence of tradition and culture, showed the thriving scene of local arts. The Performing Arts Gala took place in the Iao Hon Market Park for three consecutive days, bringing art into the neighbourhoods. As to the exhibitions, the “Imagery and Space: Ren Dongsheng Scenography Exhibition” revealed the charm of scenography, while “A Room with a View: Baptiste Rabichon Photography Exhibition” visualised the contemporary expressions of photography.
This year, the MAF was promoted online for the first time through media and art critics in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Beijing and Shanghai, while thematic interviews and reports were published to enhance the Festival’s influence and visibility and to attract overseas audience to watch the performances in Macao, thereby actively facilitating the development of the Cultured Bay Area by making use of Macao’s rich cultural resources. During the Festival, several art critics and media representatives from the Greater Bay Area visited Macao to cover the event and promote cultural exchange.
The Festival offered free tickets to various types of programmes, including children’s programmes, theatre and concerts, with students and people with special needs invited to enjoy the performances and experience the diversified world of arts, thus giving everyone the opportunities to access arts and immerse themselves in artistic events. The Organizer also promoted the Festival and provided ticketing services at designated venues such as higher education institutions and tourist resorts, with a view to reaching an even broader public. In addition, a wide range of outreach activities was presented, including talks, workshops, “Meet-the-Artist” sessions, backstage tours, community tours, arts accessibility service and film screenings, with the aim of enriching residents’ cultural life and enhancing the cultural atmosphere of the community. More than 2,400 people attended activities of the Outreach Programme. The Organizer also promoted the Festival through new media platforms. Participants responded enthusiastically to the lucky draw “Festival restarts and the best yet to come”, which attracted nearly 8,000 participants. The results of the lucky draw will be announced in June.
“A Room with a View: Baptiste Rabichon Photography Exhibition” is held at the Tap Seac Gallery until 27 June. All are welcome to visit. In order to comply with anti-epidemic guidelines, all visitors must wear facial masks, undergo body temperature checks, present a valid “Macao Health Code” of the day, and follow the crowd control measures on-site.
This edition of the MAF was strongly supported by the Macao Government Tourism Office, TDM – Teledifusão de Macau, Air Macau and MGM, and also counted with the collaboration of several banks, credit card partners and media partners, which promoted the Festival. In the future, the Macao Arts Festival will continue to offer excellent programmes to residents and to build a display and exchange platform, in a bid to broaden the public’s artistic horizons and enhance their aesthetic sense.