Cultural Leadership – Having originated in the UK, this concept has gained traction around the Western world. Can it be uniformly applied in Asian countries as well? Furthermore, how does one reconcile cultural leadership with each country’s unique cultural policymaking? This lecture invites Ms. Katelijn Verstraete (Regional Director Arts and Creative Industries, British Council East Asia), and Ms. Frances Rudgard (Director of Program, Cambodian Living Arts) to collectively speak on the new opportunities for cultural leadership in Asia.

About the speakers:

Katelijn Verstraete (Regional Director Arts and Creative Industries, British Council East Asia)

Katelijn Verstraete is the Director Arts and Creative Industries for the British Council East Asia since 2012. She leads on the design and implementation of the Arts Strategy in 14 countries in East Asia. Prior to the British Council she worked at the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) from 2006 to 2012, developing multi-stakeholder programmes between Asia and Europe in the areas of cultural policy, artistic exchange, capacity-building and information exchange. Her work also included working on the intersections between arts and education, sustainable development and health. Katelijn co-founded in 1999 BizArt, the first autonomous art space in Shanghai and developed between 2003-2006 the communication, training and Asia activities for the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM) in Brussels, as well as managing the On The Move portal for artist mobility.
Prior to her work in the cultural sector, Katelijn worked for seven years in the business sector in Germany and China. She was the main advisor to and co-author of the Europe-China Cultural Compass, an orientation for cultural cooperation between Europe and China published by the EUNIC network in China. She regularly speaks at conferences on the role of culture in cultural relations. She is a firm believer the importance of interdisciplinary approaches for creative and social innovation and thinks there is a stronger need for leadership of culture in society.

Frances Rudgard ( Program Director, Cambodian Living Arts)

Frances Rudgard is the Program Director of Cambodian Living Arts (CLA), where she has worked for five years. Prior to joining CLA she worked as a consultant to grassroots NGOs in Cambodia, especially in the arts, supporting activities such as fundraising, strategic planning and organisational development. CLA has been working in the field of cultural leadership since 2012, when it first piloted a personal and professional development program for emerging leaders in the Cambodian arts sector. Today, CLA runs an annual leadership program for artists and cultural workers, Living Arts Fellows. The 12-month program aims to create space for reflection, peer exchange and networking, and has a strong regional focus. Frances' goal for the program is that it supports the Fellows to develop a leadership practice that is specific to their context and and their experience, and that they can make conscious choices about the impact they want to create through their work in the arts. 

Special Thanks: