National Arts Month 2024 Highlights Community And Inclusivity

The theme of this year’s National Arts Month, “Ani ng Sining, Bayang Malikhain,” highlights the power of collective human imagination and an inclusive creative community. 

Every February, the Philippines honors its rich artistic past and present through National Arts Month. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) spearheads the annual celebration, which supports a number of projects that aim to cultivate the local artistic scene. These include craft workshops, festivals, art fairs, and performances that showcase the full breadth of talent across the archipelago.

A poster for National Arts Month 2024
A poster for National Arts Month 2024/Photo from the Philippine Information Agency website 

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Ani ng Sining, Bayang Malikhain.” As its title suggests, its goal is “to outline the notion that the bountiful harvest of a Filipino creative nation is derived from collective human imagination, not just individual aspirations,” as per an official press release from the NCCA. 

As always, National Arts Month 2024 emphasizes the significant role of creative pursuits in nation building. This is especially important in the preservation of a country’s cultural identity. This year, the NCCA wishes to put a spotlight on the power of a unified, creative community. This entails championing the voices of diverse groups like the LGBTQIA+ community, indigenous people, people with disabilities, the youth, and senior citizens, among others. 

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Inspiring the Youth 

As per NCCA’s official statement, National Arts Month 2024 will kick off with an opening ceremony. This will take place in Pasig city’s Rizal High School on February 23. The ceremony will feature “a diverse array of performances, immersive workshops, and engaging talks” for its 14,000 student attendees.  

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray returns as an NCCA Arts Ambassador
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray returns as an NCCA Arts Ambassador/Photo via Instagram @catriona_gray

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray will be continuing her role of inspiring the youth as an NCCA Arts Ambassador. It’s a title that she’s proudly held for four consecutive years now. “Greatly honored to be stepping into my 4th year as Arts and Culture Ambassador,” the beauty queen wrote in a recent Instagram post. “Thank you for the continued trust and opportunity.”

Providing Platforms and Opportunities 

Both art appreciators and artists will receive opportunities to immerse themselves in all kinds of creative pursuits. Like its previous iterations, this year’s National Arts Month 2024 will feature a wide array of activities for all Filipinos. 

These include the art fair ARTIST, Inc., Saan Ka Lulugar 2024 (a series of seminars on architecture), and film festivals in various locations across the country. The NCCA will also release its Online Film Library, which showcases independent films that represent diverse sectors. Then there’s “Sayaw Pinoy 2024,” a project consisting of different dance competitions, workshops, and shows. Those in drama can look forward to the 18th TANGHAL University and Community-based Theater Festival. Meanwhile, writers and readers can partake in the “SURAT-TANGHAL: Reading the Regions 2024” project, which aims to foster the literary arts across the country’s diverse regions. For the area of music, there’s “Musikapuluan,” a project that highlights an different musical crafts and genres through workshops, lectures, and performances.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and First Lady Lisa Araneta Marcos with awardees of the 15th Ani ng Dangal last February 2023
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and First Lady Lisa Araneta Marcos with awardees of the 15th Ani ng Dangal last February 2023/Photo from the Philippine Information Agency website

Then of course, there’s the culminating event of National Arts Month, the Ani ng Dangal awards. The ceremony will be recognizing Filipino creatives who’ve gained international recognition and acclaim in the previous year. It covers nine categories: Architecture, Cinema, Dance, Dramatic Arts, Literary Arts, Music, Visual Arts, Folk Arts, and Broadcast Arts. This year’s edition of the awards features 25 endorsed awardees, and will take place on February 29, 2024 at the Malacañang Palace.

Banner photo via Instagram @catriona_gray.

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