・A letter from the Founder・
To the partners who have accompanied the growth of CAN Culture, Art & Nature, thank you for supporting and loving CAN Culture, Art & Nature. You are our most faithful friends, comrades and families. Your support and trust are the greatest drive pushing us forward. In the past eight years, from the minority children accompaniment of Grass Book House to Green Grass Occupational School, the function education of HIDEKAWA, the Sanxia cultural tour, and the supports for local shokunins, CAN Culture, Art & Nature has accomplished many milestones under your support and care. The care for the local cultures of Sanxia has brought numerous resources.
We have always been exploring and adjusting the way to balance our income and expenditure by expanding brand benefits and improving the operating model to further continue maintaining our ideal ecological chain. I would like to take this opportunity to share the plan on my mind, a new beginning. I have a few visions:
I. Brand repositioning
The most important matter next will be making both ends meet. The operation and sales of HIDEKAWA will become CAN Culture, Art & Nature’s focal point for planning, including diversified channels and product development, setting of annual goals, personnel training, e-commerce operation, etc. It is hoped that these plans can enable CAN Culture, Art & Nature to have surplus for maintaining the original intention of helping the underprivileged.
II. Underprivileged groups
For accompanying the disadvantaged children, skills cultivation of dropouts, and reentering the job market of rehabilitated criminals and people pursuing a second career, these are only a small part of underprivileged groups. How to extend this love and care to more things that we can do, such as maintain stable fund sources, make small donations periodically, and continue to expand teacher education, is the direction of our endeavor and an important goal in the future.
III. Cultivation and growth of local cultures
The businesses of CAN Culture, Art & Nature cultural tours have brought travelers from all over the world to know Sanxia’s declined cultural shokunins and the local stories. Indigo dyeing, tea making, ironworks and pottery, are only a part of Sanxia’s culture. We want to bring travelers across the globe into Sanxia, develop more diversified and more interesting experiencing courses, and even combine it with travel channels for more people to see the beauty of Sanxia and understand the love of CAN Culture, Art & Nature.
IV. Pass on the love for the land
Homecoming youths investing their love for the homeland in cultivating local culture; this is what I expect of myself. There are more cities and towns and more people with love for their hometown, and they all need to be encouraged and inherit experiences. I wish I can expand my humble experiences to each city and town, so that, in every corner, there is a force like CAN Culture, Art & Nature:
Symbiosis, co-prosperity, coexistence, and sharing
Challenge & Vision
Sanxia, New Taipei City, is similar to many cities and towns in Taiwan. From the old street developed in the early days and the old town area where Zushih Temple is located to the urban planning areas of the Taipei University Special District developed in the past two decades, the life function may seem convenient and comfortable, but the traditional crafts, environmental ecology and cultural education have been dying from our lives during the rapid development process.
The more urgent matter is that there is a group of schoolchildren around us who have been isolated by society and are facing challenges in learning and survival.
As these challenges continue to expand, what kind of future are we leaving for ourselves and for the children who will be living on this land?
We have expectations and imaginations to the ideal society, and this is the practice process of a “social enterprise”. Through artistic and cultural activities as well as independent publications, a group of youths, who are returning to their hometown or moving to the countryside with passion to the land, use images and words to record the stories of ordinary people in Taiwan. These ordinary people bring pure affection to the disturbed land; they work hard to run community restaurants and quality food shops for local industries and inclusive employment to grow in the community.
CAN Culture, Art & Nature is in its ninth year, and we have not forgotten our original intentions and beliefs along the journey. We have led our partners to engage in community work, such as accompanying disadvantaged children, social education, community construction and environment caring, continued to spread the beautiful stories of this land, and devoted ourselves in establishing a foundation without hesitation to make influences silently. We hope to bring to more positive energy, courage and sunlight this land. Every CAN event that you take part in will become a drive of sustainable and cycling feedback.
Accept hardship gladly and enjoy the process
CAN Culture, Art & nature
We are a social enterprise team composed of a group of homecoming youths. After we returned in 2010, we have executed many operating plans with Sanxia as the core, such as shops built in old houses, art and culture curating, cultural and creative commodities, and craft experiencing, and we expect to become a social enterprise that shares common good with society and community. For the past eight years, we have operated local culture development in Sanxia, as well as engaged in the plan of accompanying the disadvantaged children in the community in the hope to bring positive influence through every movement.
Grass Book House Green Grass Occupational School
In order to build a second home for the children in the community, CAN Culture, Art & Nature and volunteers established the “Taiwan Sustainable City and Town Caring Association” in the summer of 2015. We began to cooperate with ten elementary and junior high schools in Sanxia to operate long-term accompanying living and learning bases, i.e. “Grass Book House” and “Green Grass Occupational School”. These bases provide living and learning resources for children from low income, single-parent and grandparenting families, and even elementary and junior high school students that have committed drug-related crimes. Over the past years, we have accompanied over 100 children to help them go through the toughest times of their life. From Monday to Saturday, from semesters to winter and summer vacations, from breakfast to dinner, and from schoolwork to family, we guard the children of our hometown all year round!
Take a sip of the soy milk that is good for both the land and life!
In 2016, during the process of accompanying children, we discovered the challenge of parents reentering career and the “employment survival” of teens. That was when we met a few soybean farmers, who worked in central and southern Taiwan, and some masters, who were willing to teach how to make traditional soybean products, so we opened up a quality food shop – “HIDEKAWA Domestic Soybean Products”.
HIDEKAWA started from the soybean products that are most common in the dietary culture of Taiwan, including soy milk, tofu, dried tofu, etc., and uses the freshest 100% non-GMO and pesticide-free soybeans of Taiwan to make fresh products every morning. The products are not added with additives, so they are safe to children. HIDEKAWA hires parents who are reentering the career, dropouts and teens with low learning achievements to implement employment and guidance plans for the store to become a transfer station of life for everyone to find the power for learning and the value of life.
Business Model of Social Enterprise
One person can walk faster, but a group of persons can walk farther.
CAN Culture, Art & Nature
CAN Culture, Art & Nature was founded in 2010. With local cultures and underprivileged accompanying as the core, CAN Culture, Art & Nature interconnects resources through space for artistic and cultural exhibitions and performances in old houses, cultural and creative commodities, THE CAN Magazine and local tourism, as well as engage in cultivating education taught by craft shokunins and accompanying the underprivileged in order to move the locality into regeneration by taking actions.
Taiwan Sustainable City and Town Caring Association
Taiwan Sustainable City and Town Association was founded by CAN Culture, Art & Nature and community volunteers in 2015. The plan of education for disadvantaged students of CAN Culture, Art & Nature was brought into the Association for independent execution. CAN Culture, Art & Nature continue to support the sustainable community development of the Association through manpower, expertise, and earnings.
Community Sharing Cycle
One person can walk faster, but a group of persons can walk farther.
CAN Culture, Art & Nature has accumulated community resources bit by bit, and we will invest the labor and resources in community changing operations so that every support for THE CAN will become a drive for sustainable feedback.
The starting point of CAN Culture, ART & Nature brings new energy to the old community.
Delicious Times in a Historical House
The LOGO of CAN Culture, Art & Nature presents as a symbol of infinity, meaning that CAN Culture, Art & Nature have infinite possibilities and hope. Through small changes one after one, we will bring more positive energy to the society of this land.
We will continue to work hard to establish a steady social enterprise business model. Through the consumption and support of every friend and business partner, we will construct an endless “business” that can still be developed with every local cultural foundation and creative energy under the pressure of the challenges in craft cultures and educational accompanying faced by cities and towns in Taiwan.
In the future, we expect to start from Sanxia and head toward any city and town that need our cultivation operation to inject the locality with energy!