Hong Kong Arts Centre
Established in 1977, Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC) is a non-profit making, non-governmental and self-financed statutory arts organization, aiming at promoting contemporary performing arts, visual arts, film and video arts and providing arts education.
The centre provides presentation spaces and venues including galleries, theatres, a cinema, classrooms, studios and offices. In the centre, art lovers can experience Sculpture, Photography, Ceramics, Illustrations, and sound and visual installations.
In the late 1960s, the City Hall was the only venue for contemporary arts in Hong Kong and there was a lack of space for art and cultural activities. In 1968, several art associations and groups wrote to the Hong Kong Government to request the grant of a piece of land on which to build an arts centre. S. F. Bailey, the Secretary General of the University Grants Committee, led the campaign. He obtained legal rights for the group in June 1971 and acquired a piece of reclaimed land near Gloucester Road in Wanchai from the government after years of negotiation.
When only half of the required $28 million had been raised construction was halted and unable to continue until Hong Kong Governor Sir Murray MacLehose applied for loans using a government warrant. Li Choh-ming, the first Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, was the first Chairman of the Arts Centre, Sir Run Run Shaw was the first Vice-chairman, and Neil Duncan was the first General Manager.
The Hong Kong Arts Centre was inaugurated by the Governor on 14 October 1977.
* agnès b. Cinema The agnès b. Cinema is equipped for film shows, and suitable for seminars, recitals, ceremonies and press conferences. The maximum number of audience is 193.
* McAulay Studio The McAulay Studio has movable seating, for small-scale drama performances and workshops. The seating capacity is 76 – 100.
*Shouson Theatre The Shouson Theatre has seats arranged at the stall and the circle, for large-scale drama and dance performances, concerts, film shows and seminars. The seating capacity for drama is 439 (Stall – 260, Circle – 179); for film shows is 425 (Stall – 246, Circle – 179)
*Goethe Institute The Goethe Institute is the German Cultural Institute offering language courses and cultural exhibits.
* Pao Galleries The split-level exhibition gallery houses exhibitions of art and crafts all year round.
* Experimental Gallery (3/F)
* Jockey Club Atrium (G-3/F)
Hong Kong Art School
Education is a major part of HKAC’s mission, Hong Kong Art School (HKAS) was officially established as a division of the Hong Kong Arts Centre. Closely associated with the Arts Centre’s environment of cultural venues, client art groups and creative enterprises, the school offers a setting for students to draw on a spectrum of artistic practices.
The school is an accredited institute. The programmes offered by the school focus on four core academic areas, namely, Fine Art, Applied Art, Media Art and Drama Education, with academic levels ranging from Foundation Diploma, Higher Diploma, Bachelor Degree to Master Degree. There are short courses and outreach projects. It has a campus site in Shau Kei Wan and additional studio space at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei in 2009.
Programmes organized by the Hong Kong Arts Centre
- Public Art Hong Kong (PAHK)
- The Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards (ifva)
- Street Music Series
- Art of Commercials
- AFI Project 20/20
- A Lean Night
- Community projects e.g. Go Green Competition
ArtsLink is a publication featuring programmes and activities held at the centre. It is published in the last week of each month. ArtsLink is available for free at more than 150 locations and provides information about exhibition events, film programmes, theatre performances, and courses of the Arts Centre and the Hong Kong Art School.
Guided Tour helps art lovers to know more about the arts, the programmes, the architecture and the history of the Hong Kong Arts Centre. Led by the Centre’s professionally trained docents, each tour lasts 45 to 60 minutes and is free of charge.
Support for other Arts organizations
The Arts with the Disabled Association (ADA) Hong Kong
ADA was formed as a non-government organization in 1986. The association provides equal opportunity for persons with disabilities to have access to, participate in and enjoy the arts, and works with the general public to promote integration and inclusion in society through the arts.
Art in Hospitals (AIH)
AIH was established In 1994, under financial, administrative and office rental support of the Center, and was registered as a non-profit making charitable organization in 2003. The Centre helps serve the community and the development of hospital art in Hong Kong.
Aesthetic Education Programme
The programme was founded in 2001 by the Hong Kong Arts Centre's Art School, based on the model of aesthetic education that is practiced at the Lincoln Center Institute (LCI), New York, bringing art to primary and secondary schools.
Theatre Ensemble uses the centre as the home base for its theatre programmes presentation, it is a pilot scheme launched by HKAC since 2004. The centre also helped the ensemble run an artistic concept “PIP”(Pleasure In Play), conducting drama workshops with “fun” and “educational” aspects, sharing with the community the joy of the arts
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