Oh, arts and heritage – two big words that seem to be so detached from our day to day life. Something that’s nice to have, pleasing to the eye; some can even enrich our mind and environment. But is it all that arts and heritage are for?
At Dream Impact, we believe that arts and heritage – adaptive arts and heritage in particular – can be a vehicle for social change. In this blog, we will share the what, why, and how adaptive arts and heritage can be part of your ESG strategy. Don’t miss our partner spotlights at the end of the article!
Adaptive arts and heritage at Dream Impact
If you look at our narrative for the 8 impact themes, we define Adaptive Arts and Heritage as a means to “help reactivate human awareness of beings and creativity by uniting across time and culture”.
Pretty deep, eh?
In simple words, we believe that people should be encouraged to experiment with artistic mediums and tell the stories of time, places, and communities.
As the medium of art evolves over time, and subsequently becomes our collective heritage, it helps us understand our past and imagine a better society as a whole.
To make arts and heritage effective social change agents, there are a few things organizations can look at. .
|Political and Legal||Work closely with community members and understand their issues and struggles for community preservation and cultural policy advocacy.|
|Cultural and Social||Be proactive in exploring the boundaries and customs in the community. The arts and heritage activities should add value to the community by encouraging it to look at its issues from different angles and expand its horizons.|
|Demographic||Demographic characteristics can help organizations develop strategic thinking and action plans to build capacity for suitable activities that are financially sound and able to address social changes.|
|Technological||Leverage and integrate technology to make arts and heritage easier for people to gain meaningful experiences as they join different activities.|
|Educational||Form multiple engagement strategies for different age groups to develop an interest in arts and heritage. Successful engagement strategies should help people develop a life-long interest in arts and heritage activities.|
Adaptive Arts and Heritage as an ESG strategy
Regardless of scale or industry, businesses and social enterprises alike can support adaptive arts and heritage in different forms. No matter what form it might be, the primary goal is to:
- Facilitate community participation in art and heritage conversation
- Allow general public to understand the history and culture of the local community
- Positively impact local community, whether it’s job opportunity or cultural preservation
- Ensure that all forms of adaptive arts and heritage can be developed sustainably
Wonder if there’s any adaptive arts and heritage models in Hong Kong? We’ve got an example.
Built in 1939 as a Bauhaus style building, Central Market ceased operation in 2003. Until the 2009-2010 government policy address, amid the growing community appeal for heritage preservation, the government decided to revitalize the Central Market. The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) then took over the site for conservation and revitalisation.
In February 2021, URA chose Chinachem Group to manage the revitalized Central Market. Not only is most of the market structure preserved, Central Market is also a hub for exhibitions and workshops for traditional folk arts, with restaurants and shops to attract visitors.
Now, what arts and heritage have to do with your ESG strategy?
Connecting with the local community, understanding their arts and heritage, adapting it for future generations, maintaining a long-term, healthy and strong relationship with the community … This journey takes time and effort, and is self-evident in your commitment to community investment.
Over time, this effort will strengthen the cohesiveness among communities, and together, a stronger and more unified society.
Take Nanfung’s The Mills as an example. Nanfung used to be a family-run cotton spinning mill, and eventually became obsolete. With a series of revitalisation efforts, The Mills now becomes an incubation lab, a Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile and retailing space, with an aim to preserve Hong Kong’s textile history.
At Dream Impact, we have a number of partners dedicated to adaptive arts and heritage. Consider collaborating with them as your ESG partner in pushing adaptive arts and heritage.
Oftentimes, the characteristics of a particular community are shaped by the kaifongs (residents of a community) in it. What’s a better way to preserve a community than allowing these kaifongs to take the lead? Kaifong Tour trains kaifongs as tour guides, with the hope to raise awareness of their community while increasing their sense of belonging.
Kaifong Tour recently collaborated with FairTrade Hong Kong Foundation for a local community programme, training students and retirees to become tour guides through intergenerational training activities. Together, they designed tours that offer in-depth understanding of local culture and heritage, as well as the sustainability potential of the local community.
Movement, of course, is also a form of art. HKSDDA advocates for street dance as a form of self expression in Hong Kong. They are also committed to preserving the evolving culture of street dancing in Hong Kong with an oral history series. Local and overseas media such as NIKKEI Asian Review featured HKSDDA for its attempt to bring street dance to every part of Hong Kong.
Arts for Good Foundation
As we’ve mentioned, art can be a medium for social inclusion. Arts for Good Foundation provides students with a wealth of opportunities to widen their horizons through collaborations with leading Hong Kong art galleries. They are also supported by organisations such as Popsible Hong Kong for the Foundation’s NFT projects.
Music, as a universal language, can bring communities across borders closer. Museek Studio HK offers participants a different lens to understand the world’s many cultures by introducing easy-to-learn, exotic instruments. Think Vietnamese Jew’s Harp, frame drum from the Middle East and India, and more. Playing music is also a way to practice mindfulness.
Now is the best time to invest in adaptive arts and heritage
At Dream Impact, we believe that adaptive arts and heritage have great potential to transform society – because we have experienced it firsthand.
Our community has benefited from adaptive arts and heritage initiatives to become a tighter, more mindful, and more engaging tribe. Thanks to our partners, we had the opportunity to develop artistic talents , preserve traditional arts with modern technology, and be trained to become community ambassadors through community tourism.
If you want to be part of this new and exciting journey of incorporating adaptive arts and heritage into your ESG strategy, schedule a free chat with us. Let’s take it from there.
*Dream Impact offers comprehensive ESG consultancy services, from reporting to solution implementation. Find out more via this link.