By Daniella Balili
With the theme “Building the Nation, One Exhibit at a time,” National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) triumphed the first leg of the much-anticipated celebration of the Museum Galleries Month (MGM) last September 24 at DLSU-D Salrial Hall.
The biggest museum art appreciation in the country primarily aimed to recognize the significant contributions of museums and galleries in promoting the Filipino culture, specifically its own heritage.
NCCA committee, which included National Committee on Galleries Head John Robillos, Vice Head of National Committee Cecile Gelicame, and Commissioner for Cultural Heritage Fr. Harold Rentoria, OSO, revealed the activities and plans for this year’s celebration, and addressed the concerns of members of the press, academe, and even students.
PLANS AND FREE ADMISSIONS
Various exhibits, tours, and workshops will be conducted in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao starting this October to reach more audience and enliven the significance of art appreciation. Meanwhile, the committee also confirmed that students enrolled in public institutions will be given free admissions in selected museums nationwide.
Some of the major activities of the celebration include MGM Kick-off ceremony on October 1 at the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art, Intramuros Outdoor Banner Exhibition featuring the original Filipino artworks in Manila Art Fair on October 1 to 31, the first Mindanao Art Fair on October 6, Plotting Points on October 7 to 9, “From Manila to Dhaka” on October 7 to 31, and the National Art Fair on October 9 to 13.
Despite joint efforts in reinforcing the importance of museums, the committee has also faced various concerns from established members of the academe. DLSU-D Professor Jeffrey Lubang addressed the expensive fees in some museums nationwide, which hinder other people from visiting and seeing the artworks up close.
Rentoria said that it’s uneasy for private museums to give free access as they need to maintain their equipment and structure.
Moreover, the committee assured that NCCA is maximizing everything they can to widen the accessibility of museums in the country. They added that they are trying to modernize museums, which aims to target the millennials and Generation Z. “Museums are competing with multimedia elements. This is an effort of the agency to reach out to the audiences,” Gelicame stated.
Meanwhile, NCCA also confirmed that they will be increasing funds for the celebration next year to amplify their core mission as purveyors of museum appreciation.