About CHP

Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center (CHP) is a small grassroots, legally-registered NGO working to protect cultural heritage across China.

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Heritage Trail project

Public Education Program

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Since cultural heritage protection awareness gained a presence in China, the majority of the general public relied heavily on mass media to educate them about the issue. Chinese media therefore bears an instrumental responsibility in raising awareness and promoting ways for local people to protect their own cultural heritage. However, as the media takes on such role of advocacy, a question is raised – is this an effective way for cultural heritage protection to reach its ultimate goal? Do the local people have a thorough understanding of the issue and actively support the cause? What else can we do?

Determined to find out, CHP conducted a survey on the cultural heritage protection awareness of old Beijing local residents. In August 2007, we interviewed 441 residents of different ages, genders, occupations, income levels, Beijing living experiences and living conditions. Through our findings, there was still a lot of room for improvements in the awareness of cultural heritage protection. For instance, 30% of the residents consider their houses “pathetic and not worth preserving”; 40% think that only well-known national heritage sites like the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven should be considered as cultural heritage; and only 15% of the local residents can name at least one cultural heritage conservation law. In the meantime, an almost unanimous consensus with over 84% of the local residents responding that “the government” is responsible for the preservation of cultural heritage, while only 9% of the interviewees felt that “local residents” are also responsible.

In order to change misconceptions towards cultural heritage conservancy, CHP launched the Public Education Program in 2007. The program consisted of the following:

  • Monthly Lecture on cultural heritage protection issues: from October 2007 to March 2009, CHP organized 28 lectures, participated by over 30 lecturers from various expertise and over 2,000 attendants.
  • Documentary Salon: from July 2007 to January 2009, 24 documentaries were shown to over 700 attendants.

Through these events, CHP was able to educate local residents on cultural heritage conservation and encourage active contribution from the general public toward the issue. The Public Education Program also brought cultural heritage experts and the public closer through our various events.

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