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Flourishing literature and arts in Can Tho
Date: 27/11/2023

Accompanying the development of Can Tho City over the past 20 years since it became a centrally-run city, literature, and arts (L&A) have made significant contributions. Following Uncle Ho's teachings: "Culture and arts are also a battlefield. You comrades are soldiers on that battlefield", the city's corps of artists have continuously improved the quality of their works, diversified L&A activities, with the core mission of serving the cultural and spiritual lives of the people.
Musician The Long, Chairman of the Can Tho City Music Association (second from left) received the A prize at the National Music Festival Round I - 2023. Photo: Provided by the character.

Diverse L&A activities

From 2013 to now, the Can Tho City Drama Association has regularly organized Composition Contests on the theme of "Learning from and Following Ho Chi Minh's Ideology, Morality, and Style". The 2023 contest is being widely promoted by the Drama Association, attracting much interest and support from members. From a few dozen participating works in the early contests, each year now the contest attracts over 100 participating works, with diverse contents and forms of expression. Mr. Nguyen Hoang Du, Vice Chairman of the Can Tho City L&A Union and chairman of the Can Tho City Drama Association, said: The participating authors have closely followed the situation of social life, exemplary pioneers, good stories, and beautiful deeds to use as materials in their works. Thanks to this, the works have a wide reach and can move the listeners.

The Drama Association is one of the specialized associations operating well under the Can Tho City L&A Union. Currently, it has over 130 members in fields such as composition, performance, and musicians, including 60 members of the Vietnam Drama Association. In recent years, Drama Association members in Can Tho City have expanded to communes, wards, and districts, in grassroots clubs. According to Mr. Nguyen Hoang Du, this shows the attraction of the association through its activities. Members contribute a lot to the art movement from the city level down to villages and hamlets.

Another example is the Can Tho City Writers' Association. The story that Mr. Nguyen Thanh Kien, Chairman of the Can Tho City L&A Union, often mentions when talking about the city's L&A activities is that in 2022, association members launched 33 publications covering various genres such as prose, poetry, and literary criticism. This shows the writing spirit, creativity, and commitment of writers from Tay Do (Western Capital). Mr. Nguyen Trung Nguyen, Chairman of the Can Tho City Writers' Association, added: In 2023, the "record" of 33 publications will be broken as about 25 publications have been launched so far and more are expected by the end of the year. This is also the achievement of the city's Writers' Association to celebrate 20 years of Can Tho City being centrally run.

In summary, over the past 20 years, the 9 specialized associations under the Can Tho City L&A Union have organized many activities and contributed valuable works and products to society, each according to their specialties and strengths. People's Artist Huynh Nhat Danh, Chairman of the Can Tho City Dance Artists' Association, said: Dance artists have strived to contribute to the overall development of the city's L&A in the past 20 years. The troupe of dance artists has always played a pioneering role in L&A activities and art programs of the locality and units.

Another typical example is the Can Tho Music Association, which over the past 20 years has had attractive specialized activities, with many works composed by members deeply exploring the feelings of the people. The latest achievement of the association is at the National Music Festival Phase I - 2023 organized by the Vietnam Musicians' Association, the Can Tho Music Association participated in the festival with 4 songs performed. The result was 1 A prize and 2 B prizes.

Or with associations such as the Fine Arts Association, and the Art Photography Association... periodically organize traditional contests, through which many valuable works participate, and discover more promising human factors.

"Keeping the flame" of L&A in Tay Do

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Kien, Chairman of the Can Tho Union of Fine Arts Associations, said: To date, the specialized associations have nearly 700 members, with diverse activities in various forms of L&A. Can Tho artists are always soldiers on the frontline of ideology and culture, creating many works with ideological and artistic quality serving the public, serving the country's renewal process and the city. Over the past 20 years, Can Tho artists have demonstrated a pioneering role in the L&A front. Specifically, during the COVID-19 epidemic, artists produced many topical, timely works that spread knowledge and impacted cognition and feelings in the community, contributing to disseminating valuable messages in life.

According to Mr. Kien, over the past 20 years, improving the quality of members' works and promoting works has been identified by the Union and specialized associations as an important task. The Union and specialized associations have organized field trips for members to create works throughout Can Tho city and provinces, cities nationwide, with nearly 1,000 members participating. Promoting work quality has been carried out in diverse forms such as exhibitions, and publications, especially traditional contests. The quality of members' works has gradually improved, with thousands of prizes won by artists at various levels: international, national, regional, and local over the past 20 years, demonstrating this.

Mr. Nguyen Trung Nguyen said: To create inspiration for writing for members of the City Writers' Association, the Executive Committee often organizes debut events, introduces books or exchanges and discussions on professional writing topics, attracting many members to participate. Recently, a conversation about poetry with the participation of famous poets nationwide. Regarding the creation of young members, Mr. Nguyen said: Currently, the City Writers' Association has established a Literary Club, with a Steering Board including lecturers from universities. Soon, the club will cooperate with schools to organize specialized literary activities to attract student participation. This is also a bridge for young authors to come to professional literary creation.

According to People's Artist Huynh Nhat Danh, creating sources and "keeping the flame" of the dance movement in Can Tho over the past 20 years...through cultural houses at district and commune levels, arts schools, colleges, universities, dance troupes, dance clubs...Thanks to this, dance has become more professional and the movement in Can Tho always has new elements, talented and enthusiastic people. For photography, the Can Tho City Photography Club is also a "nursery" for passionate people to be cultivated, mature and become members of the Art Photography Association.

According to artist Huynh Nhat Danh, creating sources and "keeping the flame" of the dance movement in Can Tho over the past 20 years and in the future will face many advantages due to many sources: professional art units, systems of district and commune culture centers, art schools, colleges and universities, dance troupes, dance clubs... Thanks to this, professional dancing and the movement in Can Tho always have new elements, talents, and enthusiasm. Or in the field of photography, the Can Tho City Photography Club is also a "nursery" for passionate people to be nurtured, mature, and become members of the Fine Arts Photography Association.

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Kien emphasized that 20 years of Can Tho City being under the central government is also 20 years of continuous efforts and development of the city's literature and arts to contribute valuable spiritual-cultural products to society. In the coming time, the Federation of Associations and specialized associations will focus on the necessity of innovating working methods with flexible forms; and mobilizing funding support from agencies, units, and businesses to make association activities richer and more vibrant. Continue caring for the contingent of artists to develop both in quantity and quality; foster and develop young talented forces.

Can Tho News - Translated by Hoang Dat

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