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Vitality & Viability: Arts Ecosystems in Asia (2016)-ANCER Conference

ANCER Conference 2016

Vitality & Viability: Arts Ecosystems in Asia


The vision of ANCER ties in so closely with Cambodian Living Arts’ goals. In our 17-year history, we have moved from an organization dedicated to preserving Cambodia’s traditional art forms to one aiming to create a vibrant, dynamic, and sustainable arts sector throughout the country. This vision, however, cannot be achieved without forging productive networks with our neighbors. Our focus in 2016 will be ‘Creative Connections’; developing our links with other organizations as well as supporting artists and arts managers to expand their own connections. One of ANCER’S goals is to provide a space for new networks to develop organically, through meaningful conversations and productive collaborations. This is exactly what I believe our region needs.

The theme of this year’s conference, “Vitality & Viability: Arts Ecosystems in Asia”, explores this idea in greater depth. The idea of an ecosystem, a group of individual entities that each depend on the others to grow and flourish, is extremely pertinent to arts in the Asia-Pacific. In Cambodia, for example, I have seen the value that our young arts managers and cultural leaders gain from interacting with professionals from elsewhere in the region a generation older – the generation of artists and intellectuals that was so depleted here by the Khmer Rouge.

In return, I have seen older cohorts of arts leaders inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of our Fellows and other arts professionals here; a group whose efforts have brought a true cultural renaissance to Cambodia. I am excited to see more cross-generational, cross-cultural dialogue during this conference, particularly when eight Young Researchers from around Asia present their work, on topics ranging from alternative visual arts spaces, to tangible and intangible heritage, to cultural identity. The individuals selected are not only South East Asia’s next generation of cultural leaders, but also are already dynamic arts professionals, actively contributing to their communities.

I am very happy that we are giving them an international platform for their work. ANCER 2016 also marks the formal launch of the Greater Mekong Subregion Hub for Cultural Changemakers. This initiative, in partnership with Salzburg Global Seminar, is based in Phnom Penh and seeks to connect young cultural leaders from around the region. This is a fantastic opportunity for cultural innovators to engage deeply with peers from around the region and beyond; and I look forward to establishing the Hub and expanding on these ideas over the next three days.

(Mr PRIM Phloeun, Executive Director Cambodian Living Arts)


The Asia Pacific Network for Cultural Education and Research (ANCER) is the first network of its kind. An initiative of LASALLE College of the Arts, the network was formed in 2011 as a way to stimulate and develop inquiry and research primarily in the field of arts/cultural management and cultural policy.

ANCER emerged from a need to contribute to the development of thought leadership in the cultural education sector in the region. ANCER functions as a project-based network of arts and culture researchers and practitioners and and provides a vital link between academia and practice in a part of the world where the arts and cultural sectors are in varying and rapid stages of development. It fulfills its objective of sharing and disseminating knowledge about arts management and cultural policy developments in Asia through two core programmes: the ANCER Lab and bi-annual ANCER Conference.


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