India | Educationist, Humana People to People India
Abhishek Kumar is a theatre practitioner,educator, and a practitioner of the Theatre of Oppressed theatrical form. He develops and designs arts festivals and conducts research on intangible cultural heritage. Hailing from a family of traditional theatre artists, he sees theatre as a strong medium of education. He has extensive experience working in Theatre-in-Education programmes and in the cultural industry as an artist, educator, researcher and mentor. He has made documentary films and written books and articles. He is the recipient of the National Scholarship for Young Artists, the Inlaks Theatre Award, the National Award for Documentary Film and the Ford Fellowship.
Angely Pamila M. Chi
The Philippines | Co-director and Community Coordinator, The Unifiedfield Nomadic Artist-in-Residency Programme
Angely Chi grew up in the multicultural society of Davao City in Mindanao, the Philippines, and attended a special education school in her teens. The experience continues to inspire her to find innovations that close gaps for differently-abled people in the environment and design of tools design, and to bridge perceptions of the differently-abled. Angely is a partner at Swito Incorporated, a social innovation hub working towards glocal social impact through their innovative approaches to design, architecture, and educational tools. She co-directs an artists’ residency programme called The Unifiedfield Nomadic Artist-in-Residence Programme with Spanish artist Marta Moreno Muñoz. Angely also has founded and continues to run an artists-community bridging programme called Balud Art Network.
Singapore | Visual Artist
Angie Seah’s multidisciplinary practice traverses the mediums of drawing, sculpture, performance art, sound and video, responding to the enigma of life and exploring facets of the human condition. Since 1997, she has exhibited works, taken part in artist residencies, and participated in art festivals in Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, and Singapore. For more than a decade, anGie has been actively involved in many community art projects both locally and internationally. She has conducted participatory workshops for families, underprivileged children, youths-at-risk, children, and seniors with special needs.
Australia | Teaching Assistant and Coordinator, Professional Integration, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore
Bethany Nette grew up with a passion for visual arts, literature, and music. She earned a full scholarship at the Yong Siew Toh (YST) Conservatory of Music in Singapore to study orchestral trumpet performance. After discovering the positive and transformational impact music can have on people beyond the concert hall, she focused her efforts towards running community music workshops, which explore creativity and promote social well-being. She now works at the YST to coordinate community engagement and development projects and equips students with leadership and project management skills.
Cyprus | Theatre Practitioner
Christos Papamichael is an entrepreneurial artist applying the concepts of accessibility, inclusion and sustainability in the creative sector. He holds a degree in theatre studies and a diploma in acting. Christos has participated in a variety of projects, productions and trainings from different roles such as actor, dancer, performer, director, writer, instructor and events manager or promoter. He is the co-founder of Emeis, a cultural activity group, and collaborates with various entities and professionals. He is also a member of the Impact Hub Athens community. In September 2016, Christos founded Liminal Access, an organisation that provides services enabling access to theatre for all, as well as inclusive theatre and arts trainings.
Chua Ying Qing
Singapore | Curator
Chua Ying Qing is a researcher and curator based in Singapore. Her current research interests include the practice of storytelling, embodied documentation and exhibition-making, as an extension of her work on intangible cultural heritage, performing arts histories and oral history archives. In 2017, she founded TEAQ Projects, an independent research lab and multidisciplinary collective, where she develops documentaries and exhibitions on personal narratives and micro-histories. Ying Qing also works with the elderly, having devised a performing arts education programme for themat the [email protected] in 2016, and now runs Workshops for Seniors with TEAQ Projects.
Singapore | Art Therapist, Dover Park Hospice
Gillian Ong began her journey in social service as an active volunteer, committing her time at hospital wards with the sick and children with multiple disabilities. After completing her social work degree in Australia, she worked with the refugee and migrant population in Melbourne and as a medical social worker, specialising in HIV care and psychiatry in Singapore. Growing up with the influence of her artist father, Gillian went on to train as an art therapist and now works with the terminally ill in a hospice.
Greece | Appointed Member, Working Group on the Management, Coordination and Monitoring of Refugee Education, Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs
Ira-Iliana Papadopoulou, PhD is a manager and communications specialist in the cultural and education sectors. She has extensive experience planning, curating and promoting arts and education programmes and events. From 2010 to 2012, she was a Fellow of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management Summer International Fellowship at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., USA. Since 2016, Ira-Iliana has been an appointed member of the Working Group on the Management, Coordination and Monitoring of Refugee Education at the Ministry of Education in Greece. Her work explores the effectiveness of art programmes for refugees and conflict-affected children and youth.
Janet Moo Tein Ni
Malaysia | Dance Movement Psychotherapist
Janet Moo Tein Ni is a UK-registered dance movement psychotherapist currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She has worked with people with autism and/ or learning disabilities in the past seven years as a dance movement psychotherapist, dance teacher and teaching assistant. Janet has previously studied and worked in Canada, Australia and the UK. Through the organisation Flow Within, she offers psychotherapy, training and wellness programmes.
Pakistan | Executive Director, Sindh Community Foundation
Javed Hussain is a peace practitioner and Executive Director and Founder of Sindh Community Foundation based in Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan. He has been involved in project planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation, managing projects on good governance, human rights, democracy and peacebuilding, using arts as a tool for social change. Javed has designed projects working with young artists, employing theatre to promote awareness on human rights. He is also the founder of Young Artists Network for Peace in Pakistan, which gathers more than 100 young artists from different genres.
Singapore | Producer
Joseph Nair is an independent producer of community arts events in Singapore. He helps create public site-specific presentations and structures to present the work of artists and communities. He hopes to bring urban communities into contact with each other through art, presenting it within communities to bridge divides in urban spaces. Joseph began his career as a freelance photographer and photojournalist based in Singapore at The Straits Times in 2007 and has since worked regularly with a variety of corporate and news clients. Formerly a producer at an advertising agency, he continued to assemble commercial and advertising projects on a freelance basis until 2012.
Singapore | Facilitator, Community Engagement, The Esplanade Co. Ltd
A graduate of Business Administration, Jovin Ng’s career has spanned the public, private and non-profit sectors. She is now dedicating her efforts to community engagement and working in the non-profit space with charities, community groups and volunteers to bring about a more connected and engaged society. Jovin currently works at the Esplanade, where she has conceptualised programmes with artists to bring about fun and meaningful arts experiences for less-privileged communities. She also curates and manages volunteer opportunities at the Esplanade.
Jun Lee Jun Shan
Singapore | Freelance Art Psychotherapist
Jun Lee Jun Shan is a creative individual with a great passion for using the arts to brighten the lives of people. Having witnessed the benefits of creating art with clients in her initial years as a social worker, Jun pursued a master’s degree in Art Therapy. She works with clients and patients of various ages and hopes to use art therapy to improve the lives of the disabled community. She is currently an art therapist at MySpace Psychotherapy.
Singapore | Art Therapist / Artist / Art Educator, Independent
Karen Koh’s visual art practice is of self-learning and continuous exploration, which gradually develops her art practice as education, therapy and research. She believes that the arts play an essential role in empowering individuals to make sense of their different experiences and sparking holistic personal development. Karen is passionate about using the arts in facilitation within the social and healthcare sectors. She dedicates her time with various groups, engaging them in meaningful experiences through the arts, and hopes to see access to the arts as a norm for people across all walks of life.
Loh Sau Kuen
Singapore | Visual Artist
Loh Sau Kuen graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting in 2000. For the last 15 years, she has been teaching and facilitating art programmes for youths and adults with intellectual disabilities and special needs T TOUCH Community Services. Through art, Sau Kuen hopes to give people with intellectual disabilities an avenue to learn and articulate their thoughts and emotions.
Indonesia | Founder and Executive Director, Ballet Indonesia Foundation
Mariska Febriyani is a professional dancer. She began training in ballet when she was ten years old at the Namarina Dance Academy and later graduated from the Atma Jaya University, majoring in Psychology, after which she pursued her dance dreams in Australia. She is currently a freelance teacher and dancer based in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 2013, Mariska founded a non-profit foundation, Ballet.id, along with four young Indonesians to give well-rounded Indonesian dance professionals an enabling environment to develop,contributing actively as their Executive Director and Founder.
Singapore | Applied Drama Practitioner
Michael Cheng has loved fairy tales and science fiction since he was young, but only realised the true power of stories when he found Playback Theatre, an improvisational theatre form based on personal stories. Since then, Michael has been a fervent believer in the power of theatre for empowerment, social change, and personal development. An applied drama practitioner, Michael has worked with a wide spectrum of communities: from young children, people with special needs, married couples, people with HIV, to people-at-risk and other vulnerable groups.
Laos | Secretary General, Association for Autism
Misouda Heuangsoukkhoun started her work as a curator in 2006 when she participated in the Mekong Art and Culture Project as a co-curator with a team from Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. She combines her strong interest in art with her passion for social work by organising art exhibitions to raise funds for children with autism in Laos. She was the co-curator for the Singapore Biennale 2013, and a nominator of Laotian artists for the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale in Japan in 2010 and the Signature Art Prize in Singapore in 2012 and 2014. In 2014, Misouda was invited by the Taiwan Ministry of Culture to become a member of the inaugural Southeast Asia Advisory Committee to foster arts and culture activities between Southeast Asia and Taiwan.
Thailand | Art Therapist for Alzheimer’s, Cognitive Fitness Centre, Chulalongkorn Hospital
Nattanan Sornpeng graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts at the Thammasat University. In 2016, she studied to become an art therapist and is now training to work with Alzheimer’s patients and children with special needs in Thailand. Nattanan is also a freelance artist. She intends to continue helping others through the arts and hopes to collaborate with others to do the same.
India | Founder and Director, Velvi
Parasuram Ramamoorthi is a poet, theatre artist, performer and autism advocate. He uses theatre to heal people and to imbue confidence in those within the autism community. Just as Parasuram wears his hat as he pleases, he tells them that it is okay to be different, but to be aware of their potential.
India | Founder, Blind With Camera
Partho Bhowmick is a Mumbai-based photographer, researcher, curator and writer. He is Founder of the Beyond Sight Foundation. In 2006, he started the Blind With Camera project to teach photography to the visually-impaired and launched the world’s first virtual e-School for photography for the blind in 2010. He has trained hundreds of visually-impaired individuals in photography and also conducts blindfold sensory photography workshops for the sighted, with visually-impaired photographers as trainers. He has designed and curated several inclusive photography exhibition and is a resource person for several arts access projects in India. He has written three books and is a recipient of several awards.
Philippines | Multi-disciplinary Artist
Ralph Eya is an interdisciplinary arts practitioner focusing on community-engaged art projects. He has actively pursued a career in the arts since 2012 through artist-run exhibitions. His work focuses mainly on creating public art through community involvement and collaboration. Through partnerships with education institutions and organisations, Ralph’s practice integrates alternative education and visual arts for development and social transformation.
Teo Huixin Samantha
Singapore | Dance Practitioner
Teo Huixin Samantha is a graduate of the LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore. Since graduating, she has choreographed and performed in local productions as well as in international festivals, pursuing her passion in using dance as a form of education and communication, teaching at institutions and organisations. In 2017, Samantha was one of the managing trainers who accompanied the Down Syndrome Association to perform at the BOLD Festival in Australia. She believes that the joy of dance is in how it is used as a medium to share.
Singapore | Founder, Be Kind SG
For the past ten years, Sherry Soon has taught students with learning difficulties in various NGOs and has organised large-scale arts-based activities to tap on the creative strengths of children to improve their self-esteem. She is an avid volunteer for various causes, through which she has encountered communities that are hidden from public view, such as youths with disabilities, . She hopes to use the arts to give a voice to these communities, believing that the arts need not be complex to make an impact. Sherry has organised simple crafting events for good causes through her ground-up movement, Be Kind SG.
Singapore | Senior Teacher, Arts, Rainbow Centre
Siti Marliza has been in the special education sector for 15 years. She began her career at the Rainbow Centre Margaret Drive School as a teacher for students with autism and multiple disabilities. She now coordinates the arts curriculum at the school, ensuring every student is exposed to different art mediums through experiential learning. She also creates platforms to showcase the students’ talents. She believes that every student should feel empowered and it is her responsibility as a teacher to advocate for them to go beyond their disabilities to reach their fullest potential.
India | Founder and Director, NalandaWay
Sriram Venkatanarayanan is the Founder of award-winning Non-Government Organisation Nalandaway Foundation, which helps disadvantaged children realise their dreams through the power of arts. Named by the Outlook Business magazine as one of the Top 50 Social Entrepreneurs in India, he has received numerous awards, including the World Bank’s Development Marketplace Award, Architect of the Future by the Waldzell Institute, the Ashoka Fellowship, and most recently the Millennium Award for Innovation in Education by USAID, the Government of India and FICCI. Sriram is also the author of the much-acclaimed novel The Story of a Suicide.
Palestine | Arts Programmer
Suha Khuffash worked for the British Council in Palestine from 2000 to 2017. She believes in the power of the arts in empowering people, bringing them together and breaking social and political barriers. As an art practitioner, she dedicates her time to support disabled artists and traumatised communities through the arts. She has developed many art projects in different cities, refugee camps, villages and rehabilitation centres to empower disabled artists. Suha is currently working towards starting a new organisation in Palestine that aims to empower disabled artists, raise social awareness around disability issues and open up employment opportunities for them.
Malaysia | Creative Producer
Sushila Kukathas has worked in the performing arts since 1995, mainly as a theatre producer. For the past two years, she has enjoyed working as a project consultant on arts and community programming for the Malaysian non-profit organisation Think City, where she creates and implements public arts and community activities in historic downtown Kuala Lumpur. Besides her experience in the arts, Sushila has worked extensively for non-profit organisations including World Wildlife Fund Malaysia, the International Red Cross in Malaysia and internationally, and for an Australian agency working with people with disabilities.
Cambodia | Monitoring and Evaluation and Programme Manager, Phare Ponleu Selpak Association
For more than ten years, To Loeurt has worked for the government of Cambodia and in Non-Government Organisations in the education and development sector. He currently manages programmes at the Phare Ponleu Selpak Association, a unique arts school in Cambodia. He is passionate about the arts and is keen to incorporate it in his development work. Loeurt supports the Phare Ponleu Selpak Association’s departments and schools in planning, designing, monitoring and evaluating projects and programmes, and managing arts and exchange projects.