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Catriona Gray continues advocacy as NCCA art ambassador

MANILA, Philippines — The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) celebrates ingenuity, as it advocates for inclusivity, in all the 2024 National Arts Month (NAM) events and activities.

With the theme "Ani ng Sining, Bayang Malikhain," the anticipated annual event aims to outline the notion that the bountiful harvest of a Filipino creative nation is derived from collective human imagination, and not just on individual aspirations.

"Let's all extend a hand of invitation as we celebrate the arts. Now, more stages and platforms are available for expression. Sometimes, pursuit of the arts is discouraged when parents want their children to pursue other careers instead.

"Art is a vessel that allows a shared history — for other peoples to know and appreciate us. Each one appreciates art in any form, though that appreciation is deeply personal. Yet, when discussion becomes more public, art is elevated," said art ambassador Catriona Gray during the launching ceremonies in the Metropolitan Theater.

Catriona Gray

Earl D.C. Bracamonte

The opening ceremony of NAM 2024 will take place on February 23 at the Rizal High School in Pasig City. This event strategically targets the young population of 14,000 high school students as it strives to uphold the objectives of NAM to conserve, promote and popularize Filipino artistic creations through a diverse array of performances, immersive workshops and engaging talks meant to empower young minds.

"Art is a message that's understood in every language. It makes us more human. When you take it out of learning, you're taking away the capacity to feel," said NCCA executive director Oscar Casaysay.

Apart from art fairs in various venues, the Sayaw Pinoy Touring Performances and Workshops will take place on February 25 in Leyte, February 28 in Mabalacat City (Pampanga) and on March 8 in Biñan, Laguna.

The Sayaw Pinoy National TikTok Dance Challenge aims to popularize the NAM Festival 2024 song titled "Ani ng Sining, Bayang Malikhain." Regional champions from the four island clusters (NCR, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) will be acknowledged in this inclusive competition, welcoming participants from all corners of the archipelago.

In the Literary Arts, commissioner Niles Jordan Breis shared that oral tradition is so much a part of NAM 2024. Tanghal Akda, he said, is more than just an academic thing while Surat Tanghal are tales culled from written literature.

Earl D.C. Bracamonte

On the other hand, Visual Arts commissioner Dr. Dennis Montera noted that the Bagong Biswal program creates something new based on new parameters, which includes expositions and safe spaces for expression.

The celebration of the National Arts Month every February is mandated by law through Presidential Proclamation No. 683 issued in 1991.

RELATED: Catriona Gray weighs in on importance of arts in daily life

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