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August 15, 2011

CCP Calendar of Events

PRESS STATEMENT BY MR. CHRIS B. MILLADO, VICE PRESIDENT AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CULTURAL CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES

12 August 2011

FIRST ALLOW ME TO THANK EVERYONE FOR COMING.

IN BEHALF OF THE OFFICERS AND STAFF OF THE CULTURAL CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON SOME ISSUES THAT MAY HAVE BEEN MISUNDERSTOOD OR MISINTERPRETED.

FIRSTLY, LET ME RESTATE IN MY OWN WORDS THE VISION AND MISSION OF THE CULTURAL CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES:

THE VISION OF THE CULTURAL CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES IS TO MAKE ART MATTER TO THE LIFE OF EVERY FILIPINO. AND WE AIM TO DO THIS BY CREATING, PRODUCING, AND PRESENTING CULTURAL EXPERIENCES FROM THE PHILIPPINES AND AROUND THE WORLD – ONSITE, OFFSITE AND ONLINE. WE ALSO AIM TO SHOWCASE THE BEST EXAMPLES OF PHILIPPINE AESTHETICS AND EDUCATE THE FUTURE ARTISTS AND AUDIENCES FOR ARTS AND CULTURE.

I JOINED THE CULTURAL CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES AS AN ARTIST AND MANAGER IN 1986 RIGHT AFTER THE PEOPLE POWER REVOLUTION. AND I AM PROUD TO HAVE BEEN NURTURED IN AN ATMOSPHERE THAT ENCOURAGED THE BLOSSOMING OF ARTISTIC EXPRESSION. I AM DOUBLY PROUD TO REPRESENT MANY TALENTED, EXCELLENT, COMMITTED (AND MAY I ADD - UNDERPAID AND OVERWORKED) ARTISTS AND ARTIST MANAGERS IN CCP .

EVEN AMONG US IN THE ART WORLD, MANY WERE OFFENDED WHEN WE FIRST VIEWED POLITEISMO. BUT IT SERVED AS AN AWAKENING. IT ROUSED OUR SENSES, CHALLENGED US TO TAKE A DEEPER LOOK, WOKE US UP TO A LESS INNOCENT WORLD: WHAT IS THE ARTIST TRYING TO SAY? WHY AM I REACTING THIS WAY? SHOULD I BE ANGRY? OR SHOULD I BE MORE INTROSPECTIVE? SHOULD I JUDGE THE ART WORK FOR WHAT I SEE ON THE SURFACE OR SHOULD I TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS DOING TO AFFECT ME? THIS IS THE EXPERIENCE OF ART.

A LOT OF US AGREE THAT THE CONSEQUENCES OF KULO COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED AND INDEED, THIS HAS SERVED TO GIVE US A LESSON THAT WILL GUIDE US IN THE FUTURE.


BUT WE CANNOT IGNORE THE IMPORTANT FACT THAT IT HAS CREATED OPPORTUNITY AND CHALLENGE TO ENGAGE OTHERS, ESPECIALLY AT THIS TIME OF CHANGE.

YOUNG OR OLD, WE NEED OPENNESS AND DIALOGUE THAT WOULD WAKE US FROM OUR COMFORT ZONES. UNDERSTANDING AND CALM, RATHER THAN JUDGEMENT, VIOLENCE OR THREATS.

WE UNDERSTAND THE DISAPPOINTMENT AND FRUSTRATION OF OUR ARTISTS WHEN THEY LEARNED ABOUT THE CLOSURE OF THE MAIN GALLERY. TO THEM PLEASE BELIEVE US WHEN WE SAY WE WILL REMAIN COMMITTED TO THE CAUSE OF ARTISTIC FREEDOM.

IN VIEW OF THE EXTREME REACTION WE RECEIVED AND CONTINUE TO RECEIVE, THE MENACING THREATS THE ARTIST AND SOME MEMBERS OF THE BOARD HAVE BEEN RECEIVING, IT HAD BEEN NECESSARY TO TAKE ACTION TO CALM TEMPERAMENTS.

WE WILL BE HOLDING DIALOGUES WITH RELEVANT SECTORS THAT WILL RESULT IN DRAWING UP REASONABLE GUIDELINES THAT WILL (A) ENSURE AN ATMOSPHERE CONDUCIVE TO ARTISTIC FRUITION (B) ENSURE RECOGNITION OF SENSITIVITIES, (C ) ENCOURAGE ABIDING TOLERANCE.

IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT THE BIG PICTURE HAS BEEN LOST IN THE FURY AND CONFUSION OF RECENT DAYS. IN ALL MY YEARS WORKING WITH THE CCP, I AM VERY PROUD TO SAY THAT IT IS ONE GOVERNMENT AGENCY THAT HAD FOUGHT HARD AND STILL CONTINUES TO FIGHT HARD TO KEEP ITSELF FREE FROM INFLUENCES OR PRESSURES THAT THREATEN ARTISTIC EXPRESSION.

THIS OF COURSE HAD MADE US VERY VULNERABLE. BECAUSE OF THIS, WE WOULD LIKE TO DO OUR PART IN CREATING BETTER UNDERSTANDING BY HOLDING A SERIES OF PUBLIC FORUMS ON ART AND ARTISTIC FREEDOM, ART AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, AND ART AND THE MEDIA.

I WOULD LIKE TO INVITE ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA TO A TOUR OF THE BACKSPACES OF THE CULTURAL CENTER SO YOU CAN WITNESS THE MANY ARTISTS WHO ARE LOVINGLY AND PASSIONATELY CRAFTING THEIR NEXT GIFTS FOR THE PUBLIC. SO YOU CAN SEE THE FLOOR BOARDS, THE WALLS, THE CORRIDORS WHERE THIS EXCITING PROCESS CALLED ART HAPPENS; FEEL THE ENERGY OF THIS WONDERFUL EXCHANGE AND ENGAGEMENT OF CREATIVE MINDS; SO THAT WE MAY ALL BETTER APPRECIATE WHERE ART COMES FROM, HOW ART IS CREATED AND WHY WE ALL NEED TO STAUNCHLY UPHOLD THIS SPACE CALLED ARTISTIC FREEDOM.

IN THE 1950S THERE WAS A MOVE TO BAN THE TEACHING OF JOSE RIZAL’S NOVELS ‘NOLI ME TANGERE’ AND ‘EL FILIBUSTERISMO’, THE TRIUMPH OF KNOWLEDGE OVER UNENLIGHTENMENT HAS MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TODAY TO RELISH THIS ARTISTIC WORK AS ONE OF THE NATION’S GREAT CULTURAL TREASURES. THE MUSICAL VERSION OF NOLI ME TANGERE IS NOW PLAYING AT THE LITTLE THEATER. A WRITER AND A CHOREOGRAPHER ENVISIONED A NATURAL CATASTROPHE OF LANDSLIDES AND FLOODS BECAUSE OF MAN’S DISPRESPECT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND WAY BEFORE ONDOY AND THE RECENT NATURAL CALAMITIES – THEY CREATED THE DANCE PIECE “ENCANTADA” WHICH IS OPENING THIS WEEK AT THE CCP MAIN THEATER. WE CONTINUE TO CREATE AND TO OFFER GIFTS TO OUR PUBLIC INSPITE OF THE DIFFICULTIES WE FACE IN FUNDING.

WE NEED YOU TO CHAMPION THE ARTS AND NOT DENIGRATE IT. WE NEED YOU TO SUPPORT THE ARTS INSTEAD OF THREATENING TO DEFUND IT. THE UPHOLDING OF ARTISTIC FREEDOM SHOULD BE EVERYONE’S STEADFAST RESPONSIBILITY – FOR IT IS ONLY IN THIS FREEDOM THAT WE CAN ALL LIVE SIDE BY SIDE IN ABIDING TOLERANCE AND SOULFUL CREATIVITY.

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