Arts & Culture
Next City’s Arts and Culture coverage reports on the ways in which art forms (music, food, literature, performance), cultural spaces (museums, libraries, performance spaces, churches, restaurants, parks) and alternative economic models for creatives all provide opportunities and suggest new paradigms for greater representation, equity, empowerment and justice. Storylines within this beat include: creative placemaking; diversity in museum curation and content; tactical urbanism and protest art; the evolution of equity in monumentality and public spaces; elimination of food deserts; urban farming and food culture; and more.
Under Secretary For Museums And Culture
Kevin Gover is the Under Secretary for Museums and Culture at the Smithsonian. The Office of the Under Secretary for Museums and Culture oversees the Institution’s history and art museums, its cultural centers, and the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Exhibits and the National Collections Program. He had served as director of the National Museum of the American Indian from 2007 until January 2021.
2017 Arts & Museum Summit
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, ManilaMary Jane Louise A. Bolunia, Officer in Charge, Archaeology Division, National Museum of the Philippines, ManilaElisabeth Callot, Program Manager, Google Arts & Culture Lab, ParisDiana Campbell Betancourt, Artistic Director, Bellas Artes Projects, Manila; Chief Curator, Dhaka Art Summit; and Artistic Director, Samdani Art Foundation, DhakaChhay Visoth, Director, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh Rhana Devenport, Director, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o TāmakiPatrick 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 FoundationSunghee Lee, Director, Art Space Pool, SeoulEsther Lu, Director, Taipei Contemporary Art CenterJack Persekian, Founder and Director, Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, JerusalemNikhil Raunak, Artist Member, Clark House Initiative, MumbaiNorberto Roldan, Cofounder, Green Papaya Art Projects, ManilaMarc Schmitz and Dolgor Ser-Od, Cofounders, Land Art Mongolia, UlaanbaatarMelati Suryodarmo, artist and Artistic Director, Jakarta BiennaleMikala Tai, Director, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney Sumika Takashima, Leader of Learning, Mori Art Museum, TokyoKennie Ting, Director, Asian Civilisations Museum, SingaporeTakahide Tsuchiya, Manager, International Programs, Curatorial Department, Mori Art Museum, TokyoSimon Wright, Assistant Director of 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.Monday, November 6 The Areté, Ateneo de Manila University Welcome Remarks
Fr. Jett Villarin, S.J., President, Ateneo de Manila UniversityBoon Hui Tan, Vice President of Global Arts & Cultural Programs and Museum Director, Asia Society, New YorkKeynote Address: Sustainable Cultural Institutions
Jack Persekian, Founder and Director, Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem
The ubiquity of technology challenges museums and cultural centers with questions about how to remain relevant to the public when information is a click, tap, or swipe away. Faced with changing audiences, many institutions have embraced social media as a key platform to engage new communities. There is a fundamental tension, however, between celebrating the latest trends and maintaining traditional notions of cultural integrity. Artists, curators, and educators have employed cutting-edge technology to interact directly with audiences and offer new opportunities for participation and customized experiences. These new methods pose questions about the role of cultural institutions in the arts landscape and their relationships with their audience. This keynote address considers current ideas for making arts institutions more sustainable in our time.Response Conversation and Q&A Panel One: Cultivating a New Arts Community
Elisabeth Callot, Google Cultural Institute Lab, ParisDiana Campbell Betancourt, Artistic Director, Bellas Artes Projects, Manila; Chief Curator, Dhaka Art Summit; and Artistic Director, Samdani Art Foundation, DhakaDolgor Ser-Od and Marc Schmitz, Cofounders, Land Art Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar
Moderated by Patrick D. Flores, Professor of Art Studies, University of the Philippines; and Curator, Vargas Museum, Manila
As nations have begun to recognize the unique connections between economic development and cultural production, many cities in Asia are establishing their own arts organizations and biennials to promote local talents and attract the international art market. The presence of a nascent contemporary arts scene helps host cities grow in a symbiotic relationship that demands improved municipal infrastructure and business. This growth revitalizes the region and provides increased educational and economic opportunities. In this panel, we will hear from three innovators and learn how they succeeded in establishing a strong presence in the midst of an already packed global arts calendar.Visit Ateneo Art Gallery Tuesday, November 7 Ayala Museum Welcome Remarks
Suyin Liu Lee, Vice President of Global Arts & Cultural Programs and Director of Asia Society Museum, New YorkPanel Two: Diversity in Audience and Programming
Rhana Devenport, Director, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O TāmakiJack Persekian, Founder and Director, Al Ma’mal Foundation, JerusalemKennie Ting, Director, Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore
Moderated by Ma. Elizabeth “Mariles” L. Gustilo, Senior Director, Arts & Culture, Ayala Foundation, Inc., Manila; and Senior Director, Ayala Museum, Manila
Arts institutions, at their core, have a mandate to educate the public. One of the biggest challenges arts institutions face today is audience engagement. With changing global communities, today’s arts institutions serve a wider and more diverse audience. Arts institutions must offer programming that resonates with their audiences. In 2010, the American Alliance of Museums reported that according to records of the National Endowment for the Arts from the past twenty-five years, the core group of art museum goers have been adults aged 45–54. However, between 2002 and 2008, the percentage of this age group declined from 32.9% to 23.3%, and the report concluded that museums should “heed the Millennials’ call for participatory and social activities,” recognizing that the future of cultural institutions lies with younger generations. The panelists represent institutions that develop programs and exhibitions to serve multigenerational and multicultural communities. They will illustrate how exhibitions that serve a diverse community are designed, how visitors respond to various curatorial and programming decisions, and the impact of such programming on the larger community.Panel Three: Historical Narratives and Peacemaking in Museum
Chhay Visoth, Director, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh
Mary Jane Louise A. Bolunia, Officer in Charge, Archaeology Division, National Museum of the Philippines, Manila
Moderated by Sunjung Kim, President, Gwangju Biennale Foundation
Museums and performing arts centers are places where visitors can learn about cultures and histories, reflect on the present and the future, find comfort in artists’ presentations and interpretations, and perhaps emerge with more compassion and empathy from these encounters. In our time, when information is shared at an unprecedented speed, the treatment of controversial issues and paradoxical historical narratives in public spaces requires intelligence and well-rounded political sensitivity. In this panel, leaders of cultural institutions whose work carries significant historical and political gravitas will share their experience and wisdom.Panel Four: Local Identity in a Global Context
Jam Acuzar, Founder and Director, Bellas Artes Projects, ManilaSunghee Lee, Director, Art Space Pool, SeoulEsther Lu, Director, Taipei Contemporary Art CenterNikhil Raunak, Artist Member, Clark House Initiative, MumbaiNorberto Roldan, Cofounder, Green Papaya Art Projects, Manila
Moderated by Mikala Tai, Director, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney
Many artists and curators are uncomfortable with centralized, government-sponsored cultural organizations. They prefer autonomy in the arts and the stories presented to the public. This trend has led to the development of artist-run spaces, which allow independent curators to work more closely with artists. These institutions tend to be smaller in scale, and therefore more agile with their programming. Their work is vital to maintain the democratic discourse of artists and curators. In this panel, we invite artists and curators who represent such art institutions to share their experiences in presenting ambitious programming in the domestic and international arts scene.Panel Five: Museum Education for the Future
Sumika Takashima, Leader of Learning, and Takahide Tsuchiya, Manager, International Programs, Curatorial Department, Mori Art Museum, TokyoSimon Wright, Assistant Director, Learning and Public Engagement, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
Moderated by Ma. Victoria T. Herrera, Director and Chief Curator, Ateneo Art Gallery, Ateneo de Manila University
As new models for learning, engagement, and understanding continue to develop and transform the way we interact with each other, institutions have to adapt to meet these new norms. What are the current trends and thinking in museum education? How will this change in the next few years? In this panel, we invite leaders from different types of arts organizations to share the challenges and the lessons learned from their experiences working with audience engagement.Closing Keynote Address
Melati Suryodarmo, Artist, Yogyakarta, and Artistic Director, 2017 Jakarta BiennaleClosing Remarks
Boon Hui Tan, Vice President of Global Arts & Cultural Programs and Museum Director, Asia Society, New YorkCocktails hosted by Ayala Museum Visit Ayala Museum Closing Dinner hosted by Ayala Museum