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Several major projects are underway, such as relocation of the Ningxia Art School, and construction/renovation of the Ningxia Grand Theater, Hongqi Culture Tower and Yinchuan Theater. Cultural venues and facilities are being revived at the grassroots level too. Ningxia takes the lead in western China in extending the cultural information resources sharing project to all rural communities, and has established a sound, modern public culture service system that is open and free to the public. A number of village and town cultural centers have been completed, and 31 counties and villages were awarded for their cultural development or preservation of folk art and historical sites.

After inspecting the Ningxia Museum in March 2003, Chinese President Hu Jintao praised the museum's social impact in particular. It received more than 500,000 visitors during its first year.

Colorful Brands

In recent years, Ningxia has made a special effort to promote the branding of large-scale cultural events it hosts, regularly organizing cultural festivals and activities, as well as broadening its cultural exchange programs.

The China Ningxia International Exposition on Culture, Art and Tourism is in its third year now, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, the National Tourism Administration, the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and the People's Government of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Its global influence has been growing over the past years.

The Hua'er folk singing contest has become a permanent feature and is as famous as the Nanning International Folk Song Art Festival. Hua'er, which literally means "flower" in Chinese, refers to a type of folk singing among some ethnic groups in western China.

More cultural activities are held regularly, such as the Ningxia Cultural Arts Festival, Ningxia Farmers' Art Festival, Spring Festival folk culture fair, forums on varied themes, on-line photography competition, and free performances in city squares and rural communities. They greatly enrich the lives of local people.

Literary and Artistic Creation

In order to fully tap into the unique cultural resources and vigorously push forward cultural innovation in the region, Ningxia exerts itself to produce quality performances. In recent years Ningxia has produced more than 10 excellent plays and programs annually. The Moon over Helan Mountain, a Hui ethnic dance drama, was selected one of the top 10 stage art productions by the Chinese government for 2008-2009.

Various others, such as the musical Daughter of the Mountains, Peking Opera The Sea The Moon, the drama Village Doctor and a televised documentary on the Hui ethic group, also fully embody the charms of the region. Many of these programs met an enthusiastic reception abroad, particularly in some Arab states. The Yinchuan Acrobatic Troupe has performed in foreign countries for many years now and is enjoying new audiences and fame.

Strengthening the Culture Industry

According to its Culture Industry Promotion Plan, Ningxia is propelling towards its goal of making culture a pillar industry of the local economy. Nine sub-sectors of cultural industry have taken initial shape, namely tourism, news services, film and radio, entertainment, animation and gaming, cultural innovation, conference and exhibition, antique reproduction and handicrafts.

Managing cultural undertakings and expanding its market requires reform, and to deepen this, the Ningxia Performing Arts Group and Ningxia Culture Industry Investment Company have been established. China Hui Culture Park and the Western China Film Production Base have been set up as the national demonstration projects of cultural industry. Currently, eight regional cultural industry bases have been built in Ningxia. Annual funding to support 10 major private cultural enterprises is part of the local government's commitment to the region. The animation, clay sculpture and embroidery industries have been expanding, and the growth of Internet bars and entertainment centers is accelerating. The integration of culture and tourism is poised for a major breakthrough.

Ningxia has galvanized its cultural industry by setting up a special fund for its development and releasing a package of preferential policies and measures on land use and taxes. The region energetically pushes for collaborations between cultural enterprises and financial institutions, and has set up a platform for the exhibition of cultural tourism products. It amounts to providing the maximum convenience for cultural investment and cooperation. Ningxia has also established a technology monitoring platform for the cultural market and comprehensively strengthened law enforcement. The result is a cultural market in healthy and orderly operation where the environment for industrial development is further optimized.

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VOL.59 NO.12 December 2010 Advertise on Site Contact Us