Changning District aims to become a national demonstration zone for public cultural services with additional venues, events and services, catering especially for overseas residents.
The downtown district plans to be one of the city’s first batch of pilot districts in cultural services by 2020, the district government said on Wednesday. Residents can expect to find a library, art gallery, theater or other cultural venues within a 10-minute walk from their homes.
Additional community activity centers of at least 200 square meters will be built or renovated from existing venues in most communities. Various cultural activities, exhibitions, training and heritage skills protection events will be held regularly.
Changning is home to a large number of overseas residents, so its public cultural services should have international features and focus on intercultural exchanges, said Wang Wei, an official with the Shanghai culture and tourism administration.
About 70,000 residents from abroad live in central Changning, about 30 percent of the city’s total foreign population.
The district aims to deepen cultural exchanges and cooperation with Belt and Road countries and attract more international fashion and culture events.
Cultural festivals will be held in international communities, while folk cultural groups from both home and abroad will be invited to perform.
The function and influence of the Hongqiao International Library will be further enhanced. International cultural events, such as the Shanghai International Art Festival, the world music season and international traditional art invitations will continue to be hosted in the district.
Changning has already built 10 city-level and six district-level cultural venues, 10 community culture centers as well as 183 comprehensive activity rooms, said Meng Qingyuan, the district’s deputy director.
Key attractions include the Shanghai International Dance Center, Liu Haisu Art Museum and Hongqiao Art Center along with libraries, art galleries, museums and theaters, Meng said.
Changning is creating two brands, “Changning Music” and “Hongqiao Dance,” he said. A number of events, such as the Changning international lawn piano festival and Yuyuan Road piano festival, are being held annually along with an international ballet contest.
To make it more convenient for residents, Changning launched an app and WeChat account called Changning Culture Cloud, where residents can make reservations for cultural activities, exhibitions, training, guided tours and heritage skills protection free of charge. Over 200,000 people are expected to register and attend such events within three years, according to the Changning government.
“The app is a good beginning to take advantage of Changning’s strong Internet and artificial intelligence sectors to offer one-stop public cultural services,” said Gu Honghui, Changning’s director.