Street Entertainers in Taipei
Street art has been a part of the scene in the Chinese world and elsewhere since ancient times. Artistic activities were not limited to certain places in a city. In promoting the legalization of street performances, the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government is in fact only lifting restrictions imposed on public space by the government and returning it to the public. The department is working to re-create cultural life and free the artistic environment, in the hope that art will come down from its ivory tower and reawaken the public's natural desire for art.
The regulation regarding street entertainers officially took effect on April 27, 2005. The regulation stipulates that any street performance groups and individual entertainers who are granted a license can perform their art in the capital city, including areas inside the mass rapid transit system and in public parks.
Each year the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government will hold one license test for street entertainers in May, and the application will be accepted in April. According to the department, so far a total of nearly 1500 street performance groups and individual entertainers have been granted the qualification certificates. These talented street entertainers include artists who do portraits for people, musicians who sing and/or play instruments, acrobats, jugglers and living statues, magicians and street dancers, candy boilers, rice dough figure makers, balloon artists and others.
Currently Taipei has 26 open locations, including spaces in the underground Taipei City Mall; the Taipei Rapid Transit System; Zhongshan Hall; Taipei Municipal Social Education Hall; the Taipei Fine Arts Museum; the Taipei Water Park; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei; the Children's Transportation Museum; and the Taipei Children's Recreation Center etc..