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IFTM students volunteers at heritage festival, for hands-on experience in staging cultural event

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

Year 1 students from IFTM’s Cultural and Heritage Management Bachelor’s Degree Programme recently participated as volunteers in the ZILO: Heritage Stroll Festival, to gain hands-on experience of staging a creative-sector event. The practicum was a required activity for the Cultural and Creative Industry course, and was led by Lecturer Mr. Kelvin Leong Ka Hou.

The festival is co-organised by the Macao Heritage Ambassadors Association and the Ieng Chi Dance Association. The arts-focused festival’s first edition was in 2012; the 2022 event being the fifth in the series. ZILO: Heritage Stroll Festival aims to offer participants a fresh sensory and intellectual take on Macao’s heritage sites, places that residents might take for granted when going about day-to-day life.

The student practicum took place in March, coinciding with the festival’s final presentations. Undergraduates had the opportunity to work with local artists, curators, historians and residents at large. The students took on different roles, including as interpreters, tour guides and assistant curators.

The theme of the festival’s 2022 edition was “Invisible Coastlines”, and invited participants to reflect on the links between the Macao community and the maritime waters around it. The groundwork for the festival began in September 2020, when the organising associations began collaborating with residents, artists, Macao heritage ambassadors and volunteers. That was in order to work toward the series of final presentations for the event.

Clara Cheng, one of the IFTM students on the practicum, says it was an unforgettable experience, and helped her to apply knowledge she had acquired in class. She was involved in the installation of an exhibition for the festival, and also acted as a guide for the event. Clara says she now understands how art exhibitions and performances can be used to offer fresh perspectives on familiar things.

Fellow IFTM student Jenny Ng participated as a volunteer in a treasure-hunt-style activity called “Hide and Seek in the Historic District”. Her role was to ensure that the props and other material used at each checkpoint of the activity did not get damaged, and report to her team leaders any problem or incident. Jenny says the ZILO: Heritage Stroll Festival is a success story for the city’s cultural and creative industries, combining different forms of the arts, ranging from music and visual arts, to performing arts and literature.

Festival Director Ms. Chloe Lao says she appreciated the students’ participation in the event. She hopes there will fresh opportunities for collaboration between the festival and IFTM.

According to Lecturer Mr. Leong, the practicum was also an opportunity for undergraduates to develop their professional network and links with the cultural and creative industry. He says the hands-on experience provided students with practical insights from the sector.