Preparations to found the National Center for Traditional Arts began in 1996. Software and hardware were developed concurrently and, in January 2002, the center was formally established as a subsidiary organization of the Council for Cultural Affairs (forerunner of the Ministry of Culture) and Taiwan’s first folk art site to be planned under government leadership. It is charged, among other things,with cultivating talent in the traditional arts, researching,conserving and developing these arts, bequeathing them to posterity, and innovating within the field.
In 2007, in line with a revision of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, the center reassigned some of its statutory professionals to the Preparatory Office of Headquarters Administration of Cultural Heritage.
In order to integrate traditional art resources and folk music research institutes, as well as three national level Chinese opera and music troupes (the Ministry of Education’s GuoGuang Opera Company and Taiwan Bangzi Opera Company, and the Experimental Chinese Orchestra) in March 2008 the Preparatory Office of the National Headquarters of Taiwan Traditional Arts was established.
On 20th May 2012, with the founding of the Ministry of Culture and additional reorganization, the office was renamed The National Center for Traditional Arts, a Ministry of Culture grade-three organization.