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Winter Olympic city builds art village through crowdfunding

LONDON, THE UNITED KINGDOM, August 4, 2017 / -- Host city for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Zhangjiakou, is some 190 kilometers northwest of Beijing. Gearing up to receive sports fans and tourists alike, investment is pouring into the city to bolster its ski facilities for Olympic events and infrastructure.

One project under construction is “Art Ice City”, an area designed to bring together art, culture and development, piloting in Wujiazhuang, a village on the eastern edge of Zhangjiakou.

The project will reflect values of social responsibility such as poverty alleviation, and ecological restoration, as well as business values, helping build Zhangjiakou into a global tourism business.

Luo Li, a consultant with the Beijing National Stadium Culture Center works in investment. She describes her strategy in a short documentary for BON Cloud, a China-based content production and licensing platform that includes a library of stories on social good and corporate social responsibility projects.

Finding investors was difficult for Luo Li, so she turned to crowdfunding to raise money. Now materials such as wood and glass for the on-site buildings have already been paid for through this method.

“It has a universal value,” she says of crowdfunding. “If you help one person to solve a problem, then you can help others too.”

The village already has already been partially renovated into a tourism and leisure destination, using locally produced red bricks.

Several companies have also lent investment and support, renting houses from villagers and converting them into artistic homestays. Management companies will operate the homestays, which can be returned to the owners after the lease has expired if they wish to operate them themselves. This system is designed to help with the lengthy development cycle of the project, and help villagers become entrepreneurs.

“At first, the villagers did not support this idea,” said the Head of Wujiazhuang village, Zhang Baocheng. “Only three households agreed initially. But as the project went on, more and more villagers joined in. Now we have over 100 households joining in this art town project.

So far, the project has raised more than 20 million yuan (USD$3 million) of investment, plus 6 million yuan (USD$890,000) from villagers self finance.

The project is intended to develop into a network located along the 200km-long passage between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, incorporating the Great Wall as well as road and rail transport.

The artistic themes will be drawn from local folk arts and cultural relics as well as Spring Festival and Great Wall culture.

Luo Li’s story is part of a library of video content on BON Cloud Premium which covers corporate social responsibility as well as business, technology, living, travel and lifestyle.

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