As part of its goal of developing cultural literacy in schools and the wider community, the LCSD organised 1 140 arts education and audience-building activities throughout Hong Kong which attracted more than 296 000 participants during the year.
In 2015-16, the long-established School Arts Animateur Scheme was revamped as the School Performing Arts in Practice Scheme. Under the revamped Scheme, the LCSD collaborated with local performing groups experienced in arts education to conduct arts education projects in schools. After attending a series of workshops lasting from a few months to an entire academic year, students had the opportunity to put what they had learnt into practice in performances. In addition to providing practical opportunities for getting involved in the arts, the scheme provided students with information about pathways for further study, and kept them abreast of latest developments in the arts industry. In 2015, 12 projects were presented, comprising performances in areas as varied as music composition, Western music, dance, musicals, drama, puppetry and Cantonese opera. Programme production for the performances was undertaken by the Chung Ying Theatre Company, the City Contemporary Dance Company, the Hong Kong Ballet, the Hong Kong 3 Arts Musical Institute, Prospects Theatre, Theatre Ronin, the Hong Kong Composers' Guild, the Hong Kong Federation of Women Six Arts Orchestra, Studiodanz, Make Friends with Puppet, the Seals Players Foundation, and the Kim Sum Cantonese Opera Association.
To enhance students' sense of civic responsibility, the LCSD worked with some of these arts groups and participating schools to run various Students' Performances for the Community, held at community centres and homes for the elderly in the vicinity of their schools.
The School Culture Day Scheme encouraged primary, secondary and special schools to bring students along to the department's performance venues, museums and libraries during school hours to take part in specially-designed cultural activities. This popular scheme also served to integrate art, history and science topics in the school curriculum, linking them closely with everyday life. Some of the activities under the scheme also invited participation by parents.
The Arts Experience Scheme for Senior Secondary Students offers tailor-made programmes with interactive and educational elements, all designed to tie in with the Other Learning Experiences in Aesthetic Development under the New Senior Secondary Curriculum. A total of 18 programmes were offered under this scheme in 2015-16, including programmes in dance, drama, music, Western and Cantonese opera and multimedia arts. Participating artists and arts groups included the Chung Ying Theatre Company, Zuni Icosahedron, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, the Hong Kong Dance Company, the City Contemporary Dance Company, the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, Class 7A Drama Group, Musica Viva, the Absolutely Fabulous Theatre Connection English Theatre, the Nonsensemakers, Theatre Ronin, R&T (Rhythm and Tempo), Premiere Performances of Hong Kong, Christopher Pak, Dennis Wu, and Sun Kim-long.
The Performing Arts Appreciation Project for Senior Secondary Students was organised in collaboration with the International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong). This project introduced students to the basic techniques of arts criticism through seminars and workshops.
To encourage students' interest in Cantonese opera, the department presented the programme Let's Enjoy Cantonese Opera in Bamboo Theatre with the support of district organisations. As the name suggests, these performances featured Cantonese opera performed in bamboo theatres in various districts, and featured interactive and educational activities specially tailored for students.
The General Education in Arts Programme for Tertiary Students (Theatre) offered an interactive platform where tertiary students could gain an in-depth understanding of theatre from page to stage, through theatre appreciation activities, workshops and seminars. Students also had the opportunity to create and present their own artistic works under professional guidance.
In the Community
Audience-building programmes held at the community level included the Community Cultural Ambassador Scheme and other projects organised in co-operation with district and non-government cultural organisations.
Outreach activities under the Community Cultural Ambassador Scheme were designed to make the arts more accessible to people in the community. A total of 21 arts groups or artists participated in the scheme in 2015-16, conducting performances in public spaces such as parks, shopping malls and community centres. Collaboration with the Link at shopping malls in housing estates enabled artists to engage with the communities in these neighbourhoods.
To encourage the elderly to get involved in cultural activities, the LCSD organised a Community Oral History Theatre Project in collaboration with performing arts and district organisations. Through a series of workshops, the project collected valuable personal histories from elderly people from specific districts. After their oral histories were scripted, the elderly participants performed their stories on stage. In 2015-16, the project was continued in Eastern District and extended to Sha Tin, following its earlier successful implementation in Sham Shui Po, Kwun Tong and Islands District (Tai O).