Public cultural service space being created at local residents' doorsteps

Li Xinran
In recent years, Shanghai's suburban Jiading District has created a number of public cultural service spaces at local residents' doorstep to enrich their lives.
Li Xinran

In recent years, Jiading has created a number of public cultural service spaces at the residents' doorstep to enrich their lives.

Named after "Jia" for Jiading, such kind of facilities like the Jia • Show Space, Jia • Reading Space and Jia • Art Space aim to provide better leisure and culture services for the Jiadingers and improve their satisfaction and sense of gain.

"We will make every effort to build a modern public cultural service system with wider coverage and higher efficiency, create a new cultural spaces cluster, and expand the service radius of existing cultural facilities," an official with the district's cultural and tourism department said.

Public cultural service space being created at local residents' doorsteps
Zhou Yulin

A granny teaches a young office worker how to weave a straw mat in a crafts class at a neighborhood Jia • Show Space.

Stage performances, cultural courses at doorsteps

Since 2021, Jiading has launched the Jia • Show Space. High-quality performances, exhibitions and lectures are no longer confined to government-run cultural centers and community cultural activity centers only. They are accessible to residents in privately operated neighborhood cultural spaces as well.

So far, Jiading has established 36 show spaces covering all of its communities and towns.

"I used to take a bus with my friends to the district cultural center and library. But as I get older, I am a little overwhelmed. I hoped these cultural activities could be held at my doorstep," said a woman surnamed Sun.

"I didn't expect this to happen so quick. And the activities are quite diverse, including literature lectures and arts and crafts lessons, which are suitable for all ages. And I strongly recommended that the arts and crafts lessons be continued and extended to other spaces."

The supply of diversified high-quality cultural services is a result of cooperation involving multiple parties including the district cultural center, the district Party construction center, the district disabled people's federation and the intangible cultural heritage inheritance base, with cultural activities being promoted on project and brand bases.

Public cultural service space being created at local residents' doorsteps
Zhou Yulin

Some locals show an interest in shadow puppetry.

Public cultural service space being created at local residents' doorsteps
Zhou Yulin

A lecture on the development of industries in Shangha is held.

As one of the practical projects for Shanghai residents in 2022, the Citizen Night School has been open in Jiading for two years and incorporated with Jia • Show Space.

At the Zhongfang Neighborhood Center in Malu Town, the course of "persuasive speech training" has attracted many young office workers.

"I lack expression skills," said an office worker surnamed Ma. "This course is in particular suitable for me. The skills taught by the teacher are very practical!"

These days, with the efforts of all parties, show spaces are almost everywhere in Jiading, such as in commercial buildings, public parks, tourist scenic spots and community activity rooms, to improve people's access to cultural resources, and the whole system has taken shape.

In 2022, a total of 83 cultural activities, such as art tours, stage performances, arts and crafts lessons and cultural lectures, were held at Jia • Show Space.

Neighborhood reading spaces

It is Jiading Library who came up with the idea of creating the Jia • Reading Space to explore the connotation of regional culture, create more reading spots in the district and optimize the form and content of reading.

The initiative is aiming to deepen the library's "districtwide service" model, introduce the cooperation of social forces, realize the co-construction and sharing of resources, give full play to the institutional advantages, and promote the high-quality development of the regional public library service system.

Recently, the first Jia • Reading Space went into trial operation. The space is located in a neighborhood on Haibo Road in Jiangqiao Town, with a total area of 480 square meters.

On the morning of December 20, a local resident surnamed Zhang visited the space and borrowed four books at a time, including his favorite history books, a bakery book his wife needs and a fairy tales book for his granddaughter.

Public cultural service space being created at local residents' doorsteps
Qin Jian

Jiading Library will provide all the reading spaces across the district with the latest arrivals and e-paper updates to cultivate a high-quality reading culture.

"It's only 5 minutes away from home," Zhang said. "I always call it a 'study at our doorstep.' There are more than 200 titles here in different categories."

In addition to the reading area where books can be borrowed, the Jia • Reading Space also has an audio reading area, a children's playground and a coffee bar.

It is also equipped with a shared bookcase, an electronic newspaper device, an all-in-one machine for preschool kids and other digital self-service devices.

"We will regularly 'transport' books from the district and town libraries to the 'reading space,' so that people can enjoy a rich resource of books at their doorstep," said an assistant working at the neighborhood center.

"In the next stage, we will regularly carry out parent-child reading parties, lectures and other educational activities to improve the reading ability of locals, in particular children, and create a strong reading atmosphere."

The Jia • Reading Space project mainly cooperates with communities and towns and social organizations and combines its own characteristics with the surrounding environment.

Public cultural service space being created at local residents' doorsteps
Qin Jian

A kid's corner is incorporated into each neighborhood reading space to encourage good reading habits in children.

The reading spaces will be incorporated into the service system of Jiading Library, according to head of the library.

"That is to say, Jiading Library will cooperate with towns and communities to supplement books and digital reading resources to the reading space," he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Jiading Library will also provide high-quality reading activity resources to the reading space, so that more readers can enjoy services, such as lectures, book launches and exhibitions at their doorstep, to further enrich the spiritual and cultural life of Jiadingers.

As planned, Jiading Library will license 10 major enterprises with local presence to cooperate in the construction of Jia • Reading Space.

Leveraging social resources to cook up cultural feast

There are many private art galleries and museums in Jiading. Jia • Art Space therefore allows Jiadingers to enjoy high-quality artistic feast at their doorsteps.

An art museum on Chenxiang Highway in Nanxiang Town has been recruited to be one of the Jia • Art Spaces. During the Chinese New Year holiday, a painting exhibition featuring 108 works by renowned painters was launched there.

After studying the preview of the exhibition, a calligraphy and painting enthusiast surnamed Yang immediately made an appointment with her friend.

"The exhibits here are all famous works of famous artists. In the past, we had to go downtown. Now we can appreciate high-quality exhibitions at the art space, which couldn't be missed!" Yang noted.

Public cultural service space being created at local residents' doorsteps

The Qingu Art Museum in Nanxiang Town has recently opened as one of the art spaces for high-end art exhibitions in Jiading.

Zhu Xu, deputy director of the district bureau of culture and tourism, said that there has been a growing demand among local residents for high-quality cultural content and cultural space in the vicinity as the district speeds up its cultural development.

In order to meet the various needs of Jiadingers, the concept of the "15-minute public cultural service circle" has been raised and the construction of Jia • Show Space, Jia • Reading Space and Jia • Art Space has definitely complemented existing facilities in both physical locations and diversity of cultural resources, according to Zhu.

In the future, these three spaces will further combine resources with the 66 Jia • Neighborhood Centers, which are still under construction, as well as enterprises and folk art museums in Jiading, to create a number of public cultural spaces that match the characteristics of the district and integrate with its development.

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