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.
Mary Jane Louise A. Bolunia, Chief Archaeologist, National Museum of the Philippines, Manila
Diana Campbell Betancourt, Artistic Director, Samdani Art Foundation and Chief Curator, Dhaka Art Summit
Rhana Devenport, Director, Auckland Art Gallery
Sunghee Lee, Director, Art Space Pool
Esther Lu, Director, Taipei Contemporary Art Center
Jack Persekian, Co-Director, Al Ma’mal Foundation, Jerusalem
Nikhil Raunak, Co-Founder, Clark House Initiative, Mumbai
Norberto Roldan, Co-Founder, Green Papaya Projects, Manila
Melati Suryodarmo, artist and Artistic Director, Jakarta Biennial
Mikala Tai, Director, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney
Kennie Ting, Director, Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore
Chhay Visoth, Director, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh
Simon Wright, Assistant Director, Learning and Public Engagement, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
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.