Hua Dan (the name stands for a lively female role in Chinese Opera) has been pioneering participatory arts projects as a way of building soft skills amongst China's rural and urban migrant population since 2004. Their work emphasizes women’s empowerment issues.
Hua Dan staff run programs in migrant schools in Beijing, and are also currently running a program in Sichuan as part of the earthquake rehabilitation efforts there. More than 5000 children have already attended their drama workshops in Sichuan.
Xing Zhi is the best known of around 200 special schools set up in Beijing in recent years to help children of migrant workers from rural areas get a decent education.
Like most British performing arts companies, the Birmingham Royal Ballet has in recent years been emphasizing community involvement, and has a dedicated Learning Team that travels with the Ballet and strives to ensure that all projects are inclusive, enjoyable and empowering.
Robin Rickard, first secretary of the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy, told China.org.cn: "Through these workshops we aim to develop the capacity of teaching artists and other educators in China to deliver activities which enable a diverse range of audiences to experience first-hand the power of participation in the arts."
"The UK has a strong tradition of making the arts accessible to broad and diverse communities and we are delighted to bring their expertise and inspiration to China," he added.