India | Head of Department (Curriculum), Magic Bus India Foundation
Aashiq Rizvi is a sports-for-development practitioner and enthusiast and has been working with Magic Bus India Foundation for the past 14 years. He has a Master’s Degree in Sport, Policy and Community Development from the University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom. He has worked at the grassroots level, mentoring children and youth from disadvantaged communities. Currently, he heads the curriculum team at Magic Bus India Foundation where he is responsible for creating life skills curriculum and designing programmes for adolescents in India. Aashiq uses the arts to develop weekly sport-based programmes and believes in the efficacy of using the arts with children. He has participated in many national and international events championing children’s rights to play and development.
India | Educator, Azim Premji Foundation
Abhishek Goswami holds a postgraduate diploma in Dramatic Arts from the University of Rajasthan. He is a theatre practitioner and has taught at the Theatre in Education Company in the National School of Drama from 1998 to 2006. He is trained in the Theatre of the Oppressed and currently works as an educator in the Azim Premji Foundation, where drama has been included in the professional development of teachers since 2011. Abhishek was recently awarded the Senior Fellowship by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, India, to write a book in Hindi for teachers on the use of drama in education. He has travelled to the United States of America, Oman and China to share his practices with and for children and teachers.
Singapore | Founder, Art for Good
Amanda Chen is a certified art therapist and arts educator with a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy. She has been active in the social work scene for the past decade and has worked with many charities and social enterprises in Singapore such as The Red Pencil, Student Advisory Center, Center Pottery, Habitat for Humanity Singapore and was the former Deputy Director of Social Creatives. She currently sits on the Board of the Rare Disorders Society of Singapore as Honorary Secretary. Amanda curates art enrichment programmes and manages the social work and art therapy programmes for Art for Good, an art social enterprise that helps communities by doing good through the arts.
Amos V. Manlangit
The Philippines | Artist, Art Ventures and Advocacy Network
Amos V. Manlangit is an artist and educator. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts and Master’s Degree in Special Education. He teaches fine arts at the University of the Philippines and facilitates creativity-based programmes in different sectors and industries. Amos is a resource speaker for topics on diversity, inclusion, disability welfare, creativity, expression and emotional well-being. His affiliations include the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association, MAGIS Creative Spaces, Autism Society Philippines, Initiative for Disability Rights and Welfare, Art Ventures and Advocacy Network, Quezon City Gender and Development Office and the Rotary Club of Quezon City.
India | Communications Consultant, World Health Organisation
Anika Singh works with the World Health Organisation as a health communication specialist. She is passionate about promoting social messages through various forms of art and has conceptualised and executed engaging health campaigns on depression, diabetes, stroke and health promotion. Anika is determined to make health information accessible to all through creative and engaging campaigns. She wants to make ‘Arts for Health’ a movement for like-minded people who want to contribute to healthier and happier lives through their artistic strengths and talents.
United States of America | Public Art Coordinator, The 100 Gates Project
Ayana Hosten is an art and cultural worker whose New York City upbringing has heavily inspired and motivated her career path. She holds a dual Bachelor of Arts from Claremont McKenna College in American Studies and Government, with a concentration in Organisational Management. Ayana has brought her experience in arts education, programme management and community engagement to various art initiatives. She believes in the transformative power of art to impact the social, emotional and intellectual development of individuals, particularly children and youth.
Australia | Director, Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University
Brydie-Leigh Bartleet is a leading educator and researcher committed to championing arts for social change. She has collaborated with prominent NGOs and arts organisations on projects that explore the role of the arts in social justice, regional development, intercultural reconciliation, health equity and criminal justice. Brydie is on the board of Australia’s peak advocacy body, Music Australia, has served as the Chair of International Society for Music Education’s Community Music Commission, and is the Co-Founder of Asia Pacific’s Community Music Network. She has secured AUD$1.2 million in funding, produced 140 outputs, and was awarded the Australian University Teacher of the Year (2014).
Cambodia | Deputy Director of Performing Arts School, Phare Ponleu Selpak
Chanreaksmey Khuon has over a decade of experience in the field of arts, culture, education and development. He has been working with Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang, an organisation that works on improving the lives of children through the arts for almost 15 years. He believes in the power of the arts to empower people, help them overcome their daily lives' issues as well as build teamwork. As an arts manager, Chanreaksmey spends most of his time developing the school’s policies to enable students to fully develop their ability and competence. He supports the organisation by contributing to the development of strategic plans.
Singapore | Executive Director, Playeum Ltd
Charlotte Goh has dedicated 16 years of her youth to marketing and business development in the media industry at ACP Magazines and Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Originally trained as a social worker, her calling to return to the social sector came back strongly four years ago. She joined the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre as the Director of Marketing for two and a half years before the opportunity to lead Playeum came. Playeum is a charity that works with children using play-based learning to develop confidence, creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaborative skills. Charlotte now works with both children, their accompanying adults, and educators who walk through Playeum’s doors.
India | Founder and Artistic Director, Project FUEL
Deepak Ramola is the Founder and Artistic Director of Project FUEL, which stands for Forward the Understanding of Every Life Lesson. The organisation documents, designs and passes on life lessons from people all over the world. He started Project FUEL at the age of 17 and has been teaching people aged four to 96 years old for the past nine years. They include victims of human trafficking in Nepal, middle school children in Afghanistan, and refugees in Europe. Deepak is a United Nations speaker, TED speaker, educator, writer, poet, actor, lyricist and a gold medallist in mass media studies. As an author, his first collection of poetry was released in early 2018.
Eirliani Abdul Rahman
Singapore | Executive Director, Youth, Adult Survivors & Kin in Need (YAKIN)
Eirliani Abdul Rahman is the Executive Director of Youth, Adult Survivors & Kin in Need (YAKIN), an NGO that works on the issue of child protection. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Warwick University, and is a British Council Pathfinder Scholar. She won the 2015 BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Award and edited Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s book, ‘Will for Children’. Her book ‘Survivors: Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Abuse’ was published by Marshall Cavendish. She contributed a case study to a book, ‘Essentials of Global Health’ published by Elsevier. Eirliani currently sits on Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council and served in the Singapore Foreign Service from 2005 to 2015 in Berlin and New Delhi.
United Kingdom | Creative Development Director, Imaginate
Fiona Ferguson is trained as a flautist and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Performance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, before working as a freelance musician and Artistic Director of a new music ensemble. She has since held various roles in arts education, arts development and venue programming. She joined Imaginate as a Creative Development Director in September 2011, where she initiates and manages a year-round programme of work with artists, schools and communities to develop theatre and dance for young audiences. As part of her role with Imaginate, Fiona is the Artistic Lead for a three-year Creative Europe co-operation project, PUSH+, working with artists and partners in Europe and Thailand. She is also an international advisor for Explore Dance, a new German collaboration commissioning new early years dance productions.
The Philippines | Co-Founder, Youth for a Livable Cebu
Francis Sollano is an internationally acclaimed multidisciplinary creative with works including sculpture, space installations, portraiture, and fashion among others. As a social practice artist, he pioneered trashion in The Philippines and is known for his contemporary take on upcycling garbage into wearable art. He creates pieces and installations made from non-toxic, non-organic industrial and residential garbage. He is also an advocate of the use of indigenous fabrics and welfare of aboriginal communities. Francis partners with commercial institutions, driving programmes that allow him to raise environmental awareness and design pieces which are produced by less well-off regions.
Singapore | Art Coordinator, Changkat Primary School
Hazel Huang is a primary school art teacher who enjoys listening to children's honest and striking conversations. She is an idealist who pursues the arts by learning from the original innovators – children. She thinks of the arts as the connector to all disciplines, and believes that valuing critical thinking is crucial as young people need to discern information and opinions. A weekend gardener, Hazel likens the act of growing vegetables and herbs to that of nurturing the young – both require careful consideration and provision of optimal conditions for them to flourish.
Hong Pham Thi
Vietnam | Executive Director, Center for Education and Community Development
Hong Pham Thi graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Playwriting from the Hanoi Academy for Cinema and Theatre. She has worked for over 19 years in development and is a senior expert of art-based communication approaches used in many regions of Vietnam, especially remote locations. She is also a member of the Vietnam Stage Artists Association and has translated over 22 plays and a novel from English to Vietnamese and vice versa. Hong is now calling on youth to join her to promote traditional art performances in Vietnam. She has set up many community art performance groups and provided them technical training and skills in stage directing.
Singapore | Artistic Director, Theatre Today
Jeffrey Tan graduated with a Master of Arts in Drama and Theatre Education from the University of Warwick. He has worked full time as a resident Director with The Theatre Practice in 1997, Drama Lecturer with LASALLE SIA in 1999, Associate Artistic Director with TheatreWorks (S) Ltd in 2002, Assistant Director (Festivals) with the National Arts Council in 2007 and Assistant Director, Community Arts and Culture Division, People’s Association in 2012. Currently, he sits on the National Arts Council (NAC)’s Arts Advisory Panel (2016 – 2018), NAC External Assessor (2016 – 2018) and the ‘Best Production for the Young’ Award Panel for the M1 – The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards (2016 – 2018). Jeffrey was a lightning designer on ‘Mr. Magnolia’, which won the ‘Best Production for the Young’ 2018 at the M1 – The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards 2018.
India | Founder and CEO, Slam Out Loud
A Teach for India fellow and staff alumnus, Jigyasa Labroo is the Founder and CEO of Slam Out Loud. Passionate about people development, she has worked on curriculum design for leadership with the University Grants Commission and facilitated organisational development as a consultant. She coaches entrepreneurs using action learning at the School for Social Entrepreneurs India and is an entrepreneur incubator of the Government of Delhi, InnovatED and N/Core. She is an UNLEASH fellow, recipient of the Gold International Award for Young People and has given two TEDx talks. Jigyasa finds interest in music, travel and spoken word poetry.
Australia | Associate Artist, Artsolute Ltd
Jodi Thiele has always been civically engaged, be it through her training or her work as a professional actress in her home country, Australia. Puppetry then introduced her to the power of the arts for the community. Since 2013, she has been trained in Southeast Asian traditional puppet arts to work with and transform communities tackling natural disaster, refugee crisis, poverty and youth empowerment. Within five years, she has worked with the ASEAN Foundation, Union Internationale De La Marionette, United Nations' Children and Youth and Waseda University among others using the arts for cultural cohesion and humanitarian aid. Jodi also volunteers with the Singaporean elderly at Pulau Ubin and local hospitals.
India | Director, Jaaga DNA
Kamya Ramachandran is an architect and public space designer with a focus on a deeply community-engaged design practice. She has worked in diverse settings and communities from rural India to urban San Francisco and London. As the Director at Jaaga Design Networks Arts (DNA), she conceptualises, fundraises and leads teams to execute creative programmes to address the issues of shared space in rapidly urbanising Bangalore. Kamya is also a researcher with a Master of Science in Architecture from University of California, Berkeley, and is currently teaching final year students at the studio of Public Space Design at Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, Bangalore.
Australia | General Manager, No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability
Kari Seeley recently graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Media and a Bachelor's Degree in Arts (Politics and International Studies) from the University of Adelaide. She is currently undertaking a Honours in Media at the same university. Kari has over 20 years of experience in broadcast media and is passionate about the power of stories to challenge and change people. Kari works as an audio describer and has provided live description for blind/vision-impaired patrons in diverse settings – from live theatre to live outdoor parades, conferences, movie cinemas, an outdoor high ropes course and even a parkour class.
Singapore | Arts Producer, 3Pumpkins
Lin Shiyun is an independent arts producer who has managed and produced works spanning across disciplines such as theatre, visual arts, music, and socially engaged art. She founded a think-tank, 3Pumpkins, to investigate existing art practices in Singapore and find different approaches to fill in the missing gaps. 3Pumpkins has produced participatory theatre and installation works for children and most notably Let’s Go Play OutSide!, a social practice that creates continual and free-spirited conditions to encourage agency and social support among children in low-income neighbourhoods, as well as engage youth, educators, and artists who endeavour to engage with the community.
Muhammad Noramin Bin Mohamed Farid
Singapore | Joint Artistic Director, Bhumi Collective
Muhammad Noramin Bin Mohamed Farid (Soultari) is currently a PhD candidate in Dance at Royal Holloway, University of London (United Kingdom). He is the Joint Artistic Director of multidisciplinary arts producing company, Bhumi Collective and the Vice President of a non-profit traditional Malay dance organisation, DIAN Dancers. He is an arts practitioner and researcher and his works constantly question and challenge the normative notions of class, ethnicity, identity and gender. He is vocal about minority rights and addresses privilege in his advocacy. Noramin believes that young arts practitioners can become leaders in creating artistic works that are innovative, critical and relevant to an evolving landscape.
Mimie Vararom Tavivoradilok
Thailand | Movement Artist
Mimie Vararom Tavivoradilok is a movement artist and a yoga instructor. She is very passionate about finding ways to use movement arts to contribute back to the community. From 2011 to 2018, she was a dance artist in the Arts Fission Company (Singapore) where she was inspired by the way the company engages seniors through dance. Through hands-on experiences she acquired from working with elderly participants, Mimie was delighted to find that movement, imagery, music and choreographic methods can empower seniors to allow what is hidden inside them to shine through.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Truc
Vietnam | Community Arts Facilitator
Nguyen Thi Thanh Truc has worked in the non-profit sector in Vietnam for almost eight years, specialising in community philanthropy and capacity building for local non-profit organisations. She believes that the arts have the power to heal and build communities and started exploring expressive arts facilitation since 2017. Truc has been using the arts with different groups of people including youth and practitioners from the non-profit sector. She aims to run art programmes for youth leaders to enhance their leadership and creativity so that they may serve communities better.
Singapore | Theatre Practitioner
Renee Chua has been an actress, director and drama educator since 2004. She is part of Tapestry Playback Theatre, a non-profit community theatre company which works with communities to promote dialogue and social change. As an actress, her notable works include ‘Magic Lantern’, ‘Paper Monkey’ (ST Life! Award for Best Production for Young), ‘11’ (ST Life! Awards for Best Ensemble), and ‘David The Best’ (Drama Box). The works she created with her students broached on topics such as family issues, bullying, inequality and environmentalism. Renee holds a Diploma from the Centre of Playback Theatre and a Bachelor’s Degree from the National University of Singapore.
Salma Jamal Moushum
Bangladesh | Research and Planning Coordinator, Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts
Salma Jamal Moushum is the Research and Planning Coordinator at Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts, currently working in the area of collaborative community art. As part of the organisation, she has programmed multiple art projects including ‘In-Site’ and ‘Future is Handmade’. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Dhaka University in 2003 and later obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Peace and Reconciliation Studies from Coventry University, United Kingdom in 2010. Her research interests include socially engaged art and collaborative art practice. Salma strives to make art a catalyst for social change through promoting social art practice in the context of South Asia and beyond.
Singapore | Programme Manager, inwardBOUND
Shalyn Yong is an arts curriculum developer, manager, educator and facilitator. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree (1st Class Honours) in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She has been working with children and youth since 2011. She started re:ACT (inwardBOUND, Singapore), a Theatre for Social Advocacy Youth Festival in 2015. re:ACT has since grown regionally through partnerships with UN Women and Cambodian Children’s Fund. Shalyn’s other key projects include directing a youth-led community theatre project ‘Stigma’ with the Singapore Association for Mental Health, working with youth-at-risk alongside Immediate Theatre (London), and Health Education Project ‘To Timor With Love’ (East Timor).
India | Assistant Professor and Head of Department of Public Relations, Stella Maris College
Shrinidhi Sundar currently heads the Department of Public Relations at the Stella Maris College. As a performing artist of Bharatanatyam, she developed interest in street theatre while pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public Relations. In 2007, she performed a play to create awareness on the importance of hygiene among the rural community of fishermen and salt-pan workers at Marakkanam, India. She went on to pursue her doctoral research and published papers on the effectiveness of street theatre as a tool of communication. Shrinidhi conducts regular social awareness programmes on issues such as adolescent marriages, where students from Stella Maris College perform street theatre and puppetry to create awareness among various rural communities.
United Kingdom | Artistic and Creative Facilitator, Partners for Youth Empowerment Global
Stephanie Turner is a poet, performer, writer, singer, visual artist and creative empowerment facilitator. She has over 10 years of experience working with a variety of organisations to develop and nurture creative communities and facilitate transformational learning experiences both nationally and internationally. Stephanie is a founding member of the KHPoets, which has been running poetry events and writing workshops at Keats House Museum since 2010. Across her work, identity, empowerment and transformation are recurring themes in which she mixes and blends art forms. She is passionate about plays and connecting people through creativity.
Tan Jia Yee
Singapore | Co-Founder, IN THE WILD LLP
Tan Jia Yee is the Co-Founder of creative consultancy, IN THE WILD, and resident playwright at the Spot Pocket Opera Theatre, a chamber western opera company reputed to be one of the major driving forces of opera in Singapore. She was mentored by award-winning playwright, Jean Tay, under the National Arts Council mentorship programme and debuted her bilingual play ‘Chicken Curry’ with Toy Factory Productions in 2017. Jia Yee is also part of the National Youth Council’s INSPIRIT, a community of young professional leaders to represent the voices of young Singaporeans on various national issues and champion causes for the community.
Singapore | Associate Artistic Director, Youth and Education, W!ld Rice Ltd
Thomas Lim is currently W!LD RICE's Associate Artistic Director for Youth and Education. He received his training in applied drama and is an experienced drama educator. He has worked extensively with secondary schools and junior colleges, writing plays, designing curriculum, directing and producing school musicals. His plays on youth issues such as stress management have toured around the schools in Singapore. Thomas made his professional debut as a playwright and director with ‘Grandmother Tongue’ at the Singapore Theatre Festival 2016, which was nominated for Best Original Script and Production of the Year at the 2017 Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards.
Vietnam | Culture Programme Officer, UNESCO Hanoi
Thuy Tran holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Literary Studies and a Master’s Degree in Public Management. Since 2016, she has been working as a national programme officer at UNESCO Field Office in Hanoi to implement cultural projects under the framework of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. She works regularly with creative practitioners and managers in Vietnam and has been coordinating projects, supporting creative hubs, connecting artists and designers with manufacturing communities and raising recycling awareness through the arts. Thuy has a strong passion for the arts and is confident in the power of the arts to bring about social changes.