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KLPac is one of the venues on the Artizen map.

MyTeksi has launched a new initiative to make the performing arts more accessible for both Malaysians and tourists.

In collaboration with Kakiseni, the Artizen map aims to encourage more people to go to watch performances by highlighting venues and providing discounts on travel.

A map that features five venues (KLPac, Panggung Bandaraya, DPac, PJ Live Arts and Istana Budaya) will be freely distributed at tourist centres. The map allows people to win free MyTeksi credits and theatre tickets when they visit all five venues.

There is also a RM7 discount with MyTeksi with the promo code ‘Artizen’ for up to three rides to any of the venues.

Key figures from the Malaysian arts scene supported the initiative, while also raising the various issues that plague the performing arts industry.

Dato’ Mohamed Juhari Shaarani, Executive Director of Istana Budaya, revealed that unless the patron of a performing arts venue is the Prime Minister or Sultan, there is very little sponsorship available.

“We have a very small budget for programmes. In the past, it was easy to get international shows. But now it’s difficult,” said Dato’ Juhari. “Sometimes Istana Budaya faces last minute cancellations because there’s no sponsors.”

Malik, of Kakiseni, stressed that arts groups must work together so as to avoid clashes of major events. “We need to work together because we are a very small industry,” he said, pointing out that many arts venues do not know each other’s calendars.

Ghafir Akbar, Project Manager at Panggung Bandaraya and a theatre and film actor, stressed that “investing” in the arts is not about just staging a show, but also trickles down to other industries such as food and transport. “When you invest in the arts, there’s a lot you get back.”

“The function of arts and culture in society enhances the way we live our life, our understanding of society and history. The role of theatre is to reflect the way we live our life today,” said Ghafir.

The launch of the Artizen initiative is well-timed, with two performing arts festivals taking place in September: Kakiseni International Arts Festival, to be held 12 – 16 September, as well as the Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival, 13 – 14 September.

Ling Low

Find out more about MyTeksi’s Artizen initiative here.