KUALA LUMPUR, 21 August 2023 – Amidst the vibrant urban pulse of Kuala Lumpur, Think City, an organization committed to enhancing the livability of cities, is set to mesmerize locals and visitors once again with the second season of Pentas Seni Merdeka. The curtain rose on this grand spectacle on 22 July 2023 and will continue to cast its enchanting spell until November 2023. This monthly celebration of public art is a joint effort between Think City and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), aimed at infusing social equity through activating public spaces and enriching the vitality of Downtown Kuala Lumpur.
Enter the world of Pentas Seni Merdeka – an immersive experience that weaves together heritage, culture, and the arts in a mesmerizing tapestry. Created with the vision to enhance the heart of Kuala Lumpur, this initiative is in perfect harmony with the Kuala Lumpur Creative and Cultural District (KLCCD) Strategic Master Plan. Conceived collaboratively by Think City, DBKL, the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, the National Heritage Department (JWN), and Yayasan Hasanah in 2019, this plan is now blossoming into a vibrant reality.
In its second season, Pentas Seni Merdeka reclaims its role as a stage of excellence, focusing its spotlight on the virtuosos of traditional arts, culture, and heritage not only from Malaysia but also from the wider region. The captivating performances, insightful workshops, and engaging activities all converge to rekindle the flame of Malaysia and its neighboring regions’ rich cultural heritage. This year’s program seamlessly aligns with the KLCCD rejuvenation endeavor, which thrives under the umbrella of the Ministry of Finance’s Budget 2023 initiative.
The second season’s grand opening was a distinguished affair, graced by the presence of the Deputy Minister of Economy, YB Dato’ Hajjah Hanifah Hajar Taib. The event also welcomed Hamdan Abdul Majeed, the Managing Director of Think City, and Izwan Razif Salehapad, Senior Deputy Director of DBKL Culture, Arts, Tourism & Sports Department. YB Dato Hajjah Hanifah Hajar Taib shared her enthusiasm, stating, “I am delighted to witness the revival of Pentas Seni Merdeka as it breathes life into the city and uplifts our communities through the embrace of culture and heritage. It is my fervent hope that this inclusive public program will be a catalyst for economic growth, creating a tapestry of job opportunities within the ever-evolving creative sector.”
Aligned with the visions set forth by the Malaysia MADANI economic framework, the creative and cultural sectors stand as pillars in fortifying Kuala Lumpur’s vibrancy. By harmonizing historical heritage with local talents, the city is propelled into a global creative destination and an economic dynamo. The Kuala Lumpur Creative and Cultural District, championed by various stakeholders including the Prime Minister of Malaysia, embarks on this journey to replicate the triumphs witnessed in creative districts around the world. Together, they cultivate a thriving urban oasis, nurturing innovation, and steering the city toward comprehensive prosperity.
Pentas Seni Merdeka stands as a testament to Think City’s vision to rejuvenate Downtown Kuala Lumpur, creating a cradle for cultural and creative economies to flourish. This revitalization breathes fresh life into existing heritage assets, transforming them into vibrant centers of activity. According to Hamdan Abdul Majeed, Managing Director of Think City, “Hand in hand with DBKL, we breathe new life into Downtown KL, in line with the objectives agreed upon when our third Memorandum of Understanding was inked earlier this year. Public spaces, once dormant, emerge as platforms for art, culture, and social equity, ushering in both cultural and economic benefits.”
As the march towards developing Downtown KL into a thriving creative and cultural district accelerates, Pentas Seni Merdeka emerges as a beacon. Rooted in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, this event radiates positivity, igniting ripples of change throughout the community. The Budget 2023 allocation for KLCCD strengthens the mission to enhance liveability, green spaces, and community capacity. Collaborations with esteemed partners like Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Yayasan Hasanah, and others remain pivotal in nurturing a liveable and vibrant city.
Pentas Seni Merdeka, which commenced on 22 July 2023, showcased the mesmerizing Mak Yong Kelantan by Kumpulan Mak Yong Cahaya Matahari and the captivating Barongan Seni Reong by Kumpulan Sri Wahyuni, Johor – a collaboration with PUSAKA. The next edition, scheduled for 9 September 2023, promises an exploration of music and dance from Borneo, featuring the living national heritage of Malaysia, Mathew Ngau Jau and Alena Murang. The upcoming editions, set for every second Saturday until November 2023, will present a mosaic of traditional performances, including Teochew Opera and Indian cultural art forms. Pentas Seni Merdeka comes alive on Jalan Raja, Dataran Merdeka, from 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM. For more information on Pentas Seni Merdeka and KLCCD, explore thinkcity.com.my and embrace the spirit of cultural rejuvenation and artistic celebration.