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Bali Arts Festival June 13 – July 11, 2009

Month Long Celebration of the Arts Returns to Bali for 31st Year.

(5/30/2009) The provincial government of Bali will invite around 20 Jakarta-based ambassadors to witness the opening of the 31st Bali Arts Festival by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on June 13, 2009.

Quoted by the national news agency Antara, the head of the Art and Culture Section of the Bali provincial government, I Made Santha, said the foreign ambassadors, the Indonesian head of state and a number of ministers from the presidential cabinet would attend the opening ceremony at the Ardha Candra Building, Taman Budaya. The opening will also include a presentation of the Bima Swasrga dance-drama presented by a group of Bali-based artists.

Santha told the press the Bali Arts Festival would adopt a slightly different approach as compared to previous years. In the past, the President, ministers and visiting ambassadors attended the mid-day opening parade. "While the parade will be held as usual, the plan is for that event to be opened by Governor Made Mangku Pastika who will invite local officials and artists from Bali," explained Made Santha.

Despite this slight change, the five main agenda items of the Bali Arts Festival will remain unchanged to include the cultural parade, stage performances, competitions, meetings and seminars, and a handicraft exhibition of small industry and handicraft items.

The cultural parade on June 13th will start in front of the Jaya Sabha building in Renon and head toward the Taman Budaya, a distance of some 1.5 kilometers.

For the past seven years the opening of the Bali Arts Festival took place at Niti Mandala Renon in front of the Bajra Sandhi Monument. The return of the opening to the front of the Jaya Sabha Building follows the tradition established in 1978 by the festival’s founder, the late governor of Bali, Professor Ida Bagus Mandra.

The change in location reflects the wishes of many people in Bali, a change that received the blessing of Governor Made Mangku Pastika and Vice-Governor AAN Puspayoga.

The Bali Arts Festival presents a month-long program of cultural presentations and seminars by Balinese performers joined by arts troupes from abroad and across the entire nation of Indonesia.

[Programs for 31st Bali Arts Festival]