A BIG Iloilo Arts Festival is set to take center stage in October to showcase the metropolis as an art capital. Mayor Jerry Treñas lobbied to promote art awareness and public appreciation and added attractions for visitors to experience during their stay here. By decree, he established the Iloilo City Local Council of Culture and Arts and its Cultural Heritage Conservation Committee to lead programs, projects and events throughout the year. The initiative is a collaboration between the city government, national government agencies, artist groups, universities and private sector partners. The Mayor met with council members on Wednesday July 20 to begin conceptualizing and preparing the proposed calendar of events throughout the year with a large celebration of the various arts to be highlighted in October. These will cover the arts, including film, theatre, literature, visual, dance, music and architecture. Initial plans include making films and showing locally produced shorts in newly renovated plazas, restoring murals, arts education, book launches, poetry readings, bike tours, competitions of photos, design competitions, exhibitions and cultural mapping, concerts, performances, conference workshops, symposiums and prizes, among others. The annual arts and cultural heritage plan aims to develop and support local talent and preserve rich Ilonggo traditions for people to enjoy.

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