November 6-7, 2017

Manila, Philippines

Cultivating an Arts Community in the 21st Century

Audience engagement and community building have become the next phase of growth for arts organizations in Asia following decades of investment in infrastructure. Driven by shifting government policy, growing private wealth, a thriving art market, and emerging new technologies, Asia has experienced an exponential growth in the cultural sector. Cities once known for finance, business, and industry now compete for the coveted status of cultural destination. In stark contrast to the flourishing of international and regional art fairs and biennials, a grass-root movement has been underway in the past few decades to rebuild local identities, provide practical training for artists and arts professionals, and promote public awareness and international recognition of regional culture. For established arts organizations, the challenge lies in sustaining existing audiences and attracting younger, more diverse visitorship, while striking a fine balance between crowd-pleasing, social media-oriented programming and scholarly, educational content. Moreover,  digital technology has increased access to institutional programming and content and changed the ways in which visitors expect to experience art. This shift also affects how exhibitions can be designed and how information is disseminated to the public.

The 2017 Arts & Museum Summit will host a series of presentations and panel discussions featuring leading international arts professionals from the Asia Pacific region and beyond to share their insights into audience engagement through community and educational programming at cultural institutions, as well as the outreach strategies to build these audiences. The two-day program will be held in Manila, Philippines, from November 6 to 7, 2017, at the Ateneo de Manila University and the Ayala Museum.


Jam Acuzar, Founder and Director, Bellas Artes Projects, Manila
Mary Jane Louise A. Bolunia, Officer in Charge, Archaeology Division, National Museum of the Philippines, Manila
Elisabeth Callot, Program Manager, Google Arts & Culture Lab, Paris
Diana Campbell Betancourt, Artistic Director, Bellas Artes Projects, Manila; Chief Curator, Dhaka Art Summit; and Artistic Director, Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka
Chhay Visoth, Director, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh
Rhana Devenport, Director, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Patrick D. Flores, Professor of Art Studies, Department of Art Studies, University of the Philippines, Manila; and Curator, Vargas Museum, Manila
Victoria T. Herrera, Director and Chief Curator, Ateneo Art Gallery, Ateneo de Manila University
Sunjung Kim, President, Gwangju Biennale Foundation
Sunghee Lee, Director, Art Space Pool, Seoul
Esther Lu, Director, Taipei Contemporary Art Center
Jack Persekian, Founder and Director, Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem
Nikhil Raunak, Artist Member, Clark House Initiative, Mumbai
Norberto Roldan, Cofounder, Green Papaya Art Projects, Manila
Marc Schmitz and Dolgor Ser-Od, Cofounders, Land Art Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar
Melati Suryodarmo, artist and Artistic Director, Jakarta Biennale
Mikala Tai, Director, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney
Sumika Takashima, Leader of Learning, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
Kennie Ting, Director, Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore
Takahide Tsuchiya, Manager, International Programs, Curatorial Department, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
Simon Wright, Assistant Director of Learning and Public Engagement, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane

Arts & Museum Summit

The biennial Arts & Museum Summit brings together arts and museum professionals from Asia, North America, and Europe to engage in face-to-face discussions. There is no doubt that Asia will experience the most museum growth in the next decade, with more Asian countries now shifting their focus to the cultural sector and building new museums. The Summit is intended to identify and navigate the challenges and potential opportunities developing in the new museum ecology in Asia, and provides professional development and collaborative exchange opportunities among museums internationally.

Each Summit focuses on a specific topic that reflects the current thinking in the arts and museum world. In 2013, the Summit examined the surge of new museums in Asia and the pressing issues institutions face in this century; in 2015, the Summit explored the urgency of cultural heritage preservation in Asia across tangible and intangible mediums, both traditional and contemporary.

Summit speakers and participants mingle at the cocktail reception on the roof of the Asia Society Hong Kong Center at the 2015 Arts & Museum Summit. (Elvis Ho)
Hammad Nasar, Head of Research and Programmes, Asia Art Archive; Phloeun Prim, Executive Director, Cambodian Living Arts; and Timothy P. Whalen, Director, The Getty Conservation Institute, discuss stewardship and continuity in a panel moderated by Vishakha N. Desai, Special Advisor for Global Affairs to the President and Professor of Practice, School of International Affairs, Columbia University, at the 2015 Arts & Museum Summit. (Elvis Ho)