2017 Arts & Museum Summit

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.


Speakers

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.


Schedule

Monday, November 6

The Areté, Ateneo de Manila University
 
Welcome Remarks

Fr. Jett Villarin, S.J., President, Ateneo de Manila University
Boon Hui Tan, Vice President of Global Arts & Cultural Programs and Museum Director, Asia Society, New York

Keynote 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, Paris
Diana Campbell Betancourt, Artistic Director, Bellas Artes Projects, Manila; Chief Curator, Dhaka Art Summit; and Artistic Director, Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka
Dolgor 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 York

Panel Two: Diversity in Audience and Programming

Rhana Devenport, Director, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tāmaki
Jack Persekian, Founder and Director, Al Ma’mal Foundation, Jerusalem
Kennie 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, Manila
Sunghee Lee, Director, Art Space Pool, Seoul
Esther Lu, Director, Taipei Contemporary Art Center
Nikhil Raunak, Artist Member, Clark House Initiative, Mumbai
Norberto 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, Tokyo
Simon 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 Biennale

Closing Remarks

Boon Hui Tan, Vice President of Global Arts & Cultural Programs and Museum Director, Asia Society, New York

Cocktails hosted by Ayala Museum

Visit Ayala Museum

Closing Dinner hosted by Ayala Museum

Past Arts & Museum Summits

Global experts discuss what the museum of the 21st century should look like, Nov. 21-22.
Experts from around the world and across many disciplines gathered in Hong Kong to discuss the importance of preserving our cultural legacy.

Past Summit Publications

report
An essential overview of pressing issues faced by museums around the world in a new era of audience engagement