India | City Lead (Delhi - National Capital Region), The Gender Lab
“While I was helping my girls find their vision, I found mine.” After completing The Gender Lab (TGL) fellowship in 2017, Anupama Ray initiated TGL in Delhi-NCR and has worked with over 4,000 adolescents from 64 schools. She represented India at the UN’s Tunis Forum on Gender Equality 2019 and moderated a panel on women breaking into politics. She was a panellist at Safetipin's webinar series "Looking Back Looking Forward” in 2020. In her free time, she can be found sipping coffee, painting on a canvas, watching a movie, listening to music or jotting down her ideas in her secret journal.
India | Associate Project Officer, UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development
Anurati Srivastva is a play and learning experience designer, new media artist, and educator who has been working at the intersection of design, technology, and education for the past 5 years. She designs products, narratives and games that promote social-emotional learning (SEL) among children and youth. Currently, she works at the Games for Learning Team at UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) where she designs game-based curricula that uses the power of storytelling, play, and interaction design to promote SEL skills. Previously, she has worked with Katha where she led the design of an award-winning interactive storytelling mobile application called KathaKhazana that promotes inclusion, critical and creative thinking among young learners. She is passionate about using art and emerging technologies to develop aspects of play, creative expression, critical thinking, and SEL skills among children within schools, museums and makerspaces. She has an interdisciplinary academic background and is a Young India Fellow 2017.
India | Founder-Chief Executive Officer, Appu’s Cut
Apurva Shah has written and conceptualised many plays in Lucknow. She has worked as an assistant director, continuity script supervisor and casting director on films, series, short films and advertisements across Mumbai and Lucknow. Children's theatre is something that is extremely close to her heart and she has been in the sector for over ten years now. She has worked with different schools, non-governmental organisations and villages by conducting theatre workshops for children across the country. Her aim is to integrate theatre and storytelling with education for the greater good of the arts and society.
Brian Jay De Lima Ambulo
The Philippines | PhD Fellow in Culture Studies, The Lisbon Consortium
Brian Jay de Lima Ambulo is currently a PhD student in Culture Studies under The Lisbon Consortium between the Catholic University of Portugal and the University of Copenhagen. An award-winning researcher and operations officer who worked for the Philippine government, he managed portfolios on the creative and cultural industries, and drafted cultural policy recommendations. He received his Bachelor's Degree in History from the University of the Philippines (2012) and his Master’s Degree in Dance and Anthropology from Norway, France, Hungary, and the UK (2016). His research interests continuously navigate the intersections of placemaking, creativities, cultures, environment, grassroots initiatives, sustainable development, and policymaking.
Debashree Das Gupta
India | Musician, Music Educator, Lawyer, and Master’s Candidate of Medical Music Therapy, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth
Debashree Das Gupta is a musician, music instructor and an aspiring music therapist, who's currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Medical Music Therapy at Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV), Pondicherry, India. After a career in law, she started focusing on imparting music knowledge and joined Shankar Mahadevan Academy as an Associate Professor, training more than 200 learners from all over the world. Currently, at SBV, she is involved in research and learning to explore music therapy and its implementation for clinical, social and educational purposes. She believes that music has the power to heal and improve quality of life.
Hoi I Cheong
China | President of the Board, Macau Woodblock Print Association
Hoi I Cheong's works have been exhibited in China, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Portugal, Russia, Spain, and Taiwan, etc. Engaged in design, printmaking education, children's education and actively studying the possibilities of printmaking in daily applications, Hoi I has participated in many overseas artists' residency programmes and curated projects for artists in overseas exhibitions. She is one of the curators of the "Curiouser & Curiouser" project aiming to celebrate the Children's Day, showcasing them the possibilities in the arts.
India | Director, Artreach India
Ita is a visual artist, arts educator and researcher. She has worked with grassroots organisations and community schools across India over the past decade. Ita is currently the Director of Artreach India, bringing the transformative potential of the arts to children, young people and women across marginalised communities in India. Her own comics, illustrated text and graphic stories have been published widely, with Zubaan Books, Goethe Institute, thewire.in among others, and her most recent graphic narrative 'Shaheen Bagh: A Graphic Recollection' was published by Yoda Press this year. Ita has taught at Ashoka University and has a Master of Philosophy Degree in Visual Studies, with a focus on feminist graphic narratives in the Indian subcontinent.
Jack Ying Tan
Singapore | Manager (Education), National Gallery Singapore
Jack Ying (Jying) Tan is an artist and a museum educator. She has exhibited her artworks in various countries and worked as a lecturer at LASALLE College of the Arts. Here, she developed her passion for contributing to society through arts and education. This passion has brought Jying to work at the National Gallery Singapore as a Manager (Education) since 2015. She oversees the learning in the museum for youths. In 2018, Jying received the Gallery’s sponsorship to further her studies at Tokyo University of the Arts in Tokyo, Japan. She resumed her work at the Gallery in May 2021.
Singapore | General Manager, Preschool Market Pte Ltd
James Wu started his professional career with the Ministry of Education as a primary school educator, taught as an instrumental tutor at the German European School Singapore, before moving to roles in sales and business development. He has worked with organisations such as the Singapore Repertory Theatre, one of the leading English language theatre producers and presenters in Asia, and Preschool Market, a preschool consultancy company and registered social enterprise with raiSE (Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise). James’ passion is for the arts and helping underprivileged children. He is a National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) Company of Good Fellow and a mentor with Advisory Singapore. He is constantly looking for opportunities to collaborate with like-minded individuals from the private, government, social enterprises and charities sectors to create social impact.
India | Artist and Founder, Drawing Circle; Lead Workshop Facilitator, Learn Through Stories and Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
Jinal Sangoi is an artist, educator, and the Founder of Drawing Circle. She is interested in the ideas of learning through art. Using participatory pedagogy, Drawing Circle promotes collective thinking through collaborative drawing. She currently also leads workshops for Learn Through Stories, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, and has taught ‘Landscape Works’ at the National Institute of Design in 2021. Jinal has a Master of Fine Arts Degree from California Institute of the Arts, and was a past artist-in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has exhibited her work internationally, and is a recipient of the Gender Bender grant, Tim Disney Prize for Storytelling Arts, among others.
Singapore | Senior Project Executive, Rainbow Centre
Joyce Teo currently manages Watch Out, World! (WOW!), a talent development programme for youths with disabilities at Rainbow Centre, Singapore. Trained as an arts educator, she graduated with an Honours in Fine Art and Art History from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and is dedicated to inspiring creative confidence among youths of diverse profiles. Joyce is also part of a dynamic team behind the ground-up inclusive arts movement, Superhero Me, which focuses on inclusive programming and training, creative advocacy and strategic partnerships to shape the narrative of disability inclusion in Singapore.
Germany | Impact Consultant and Founder, edge & story
Kai Brennert is the Founder of edge & story, an evaluation and research consultancy at the intersection of culture and sustainable development. He has lived in Germany, Cambodia, Thailand, Iraqi Kurdistan, Australia, the UK and New Zealand, and worked in more than 20 countries across four continents on partnerships, strategy and evaluation. Kai is also the author of curious patterns, a monthly newsletter that explores current issues and policies in the field of arts, impact and development.
Singapore | Artistic Director, Maya Dance Theatre Ltd
Kavitha Krishnan is the Co-Founder of Maya Dance Theatre (MDT) and Apsara Asia Pte Ltd, an arts education service provider to schools, special schools and pre-schools. From 2002 to 2007, Kavitha represented Singapore in "Realising Rama", an ASEAN contemporary dance production touring internationally. Kavitha's vast experience in classical Indian dance (Bharathanatyam), and her keen interest in contemporary dance brings a unique modern expression with Asian sensibilities to MDT. Kavitha has worked with international collaborators to create inter-disciplinary/trans-cultural dance-theatre works with social consciousness, presenting both locally and internationally. In 2018 Kavitha founded the Diverse Abilities Dance Collective made up of performers with different abilities as a community unit of MDT.
Australia| Expressive Arts Therapist and Creative Literacy Mentor
Melanie Knight is a cheerleader for art, creativity and expression. She builds experiences encouraging people to connect to their ideas and creativity. Witnessing first-hand the transformative power of art and expression, Melanie is passionate about inspiring and nurturing creativity. At the heart of Melanie’s belief is that creativity is necessary to an individual's wellbeing and the individual is necessary to community well-being. She delivers welcoming spaces, playful events and supportive, educational environments striving to make social change through positive impact on the individual. She has travelled Australia and beyond, regularly collaborating with writers’ festivals, museums, and cultural organisations.
The Philippines | Chief Operations Officer, Artdialogo Asia
Micah “Meeka” Hilotin is a soil painter, visual artist, environmental advocate, and art teacher. She received her Bachelor in Fine Arts Degree majoring in Visual Arts at the University of the Philippines - Baguio. She is also an apprentice of sculptor Ben-Hur "Bumbo" Villanueva Jr. In 2016, she started her soil searching art journey where she collects soil and creates handmade paint as her medium. Currently, she is the Chief Operations Officer of Artdialogo Asia. She teaches art for children and helps in promoting, organizing, and implementing international and cross-cultural programmes for young artists in Southeast Asia.
Singapore | Youth Work Manager and Community Artist, 3Pumpkins
Muhammad Muazzam, or better known as Zam, is no stranger to the community arts and drama education scene in Singapore. What started as a penchant for theatre 11 years ago developed into a stronger desire to tap on the power of the arts to engage, educate, and empower the vulnerable, voiceless, and forgotten. Zam champions many political and social causes with a focus on creating a more equitable society. His works have garnered numerous awards, and have been seen by both local and international audiences. He has a keen interest in affecting and facilitating change through socially-engaged arts practice.
Nguyen Thu Hang
Vietnam | Art-Based Facilitator
Nguyen Thu Hang is an art-based facilitator. She grew up with a love and appreciation for the arts. Since 2017, Nguyen has been working at TOHE Social Enterprise where she is in charge of professional knowledge and training the staff to operate the creative playground for disadvantaged children. She was also responsible for many autistic artists' art exhibitions that raised public awareness of autism disorder.
Singapore | Executive Director, The Tapestry Project SG
Nicole Kay is the founder of non-profit online mental healthcare magazine The Tapestry Project SG. She also heads the Re:Story programme which is a four-part workshop series that combines expressive writing with the principles of narrative therapy. Nicole is a trainer certified by Workforce Singapore, possesses a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing.
Nor Azizah Abdullah
Singapore | Deputy Head (Arts & Community Development), The Rice Company Ltd
Nor Azizah Abdullah has been involved in the Singapore arts industry for over 10 years now, and her passion and commitment to the arts has enabled her to shape young artists and prepare the next generation to become aspiring individuals. Prior to her position as a Deputy Head for the Children & Community Development under The Rice Company Limited, a non-profit arts education, Azizah had various opportunities to frequently liaise with stakeholders and partners on corporate social responsibility initiatives to provide platforms for young artists. Managing both the Children Division, The Little Arts Academy, and the Youth Division, 10 Square Youth, she has been consistently creating curriculum for students to be on par with the current arts scene, using technology infused in the arts. The past 10 years has made her more creative and understanding when it comes to the local arts scene and she hopes to inspire many young talents in the future.
Ukraine | PhD, Assistant Professor of Literature, and Artistic Director, Youth Drama Theatre “AmaTea”
Olena Rosstalna is educated in Ukraine and Ireland, and works as both Artistic Director at a theatre and an academic scholar in Ukraine. She has produced more than 30 performances aimed at addressing the problems of social inclusion and gender justice as well as managed several international cross-cultural projects in Ukraine, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Bulgaria and Germany. Olena is the author of multi-disciplinary projects for children and youth, e.g. a family storytelling project “Tales of an Old Suitcase”, a laboratory of creative writing and video animation “Lab of Creative Ideas” etc. Olena provides regular workshops in Drama in Education, and Storytelling as a Tool.
Malaysia | Founder, HumanKind
Pam Guneratnam is a psychologist by profession and a registered counsellor with the Malaysian Counselling Board with more than 25 years in practice. She founded HumanKind with the vision of a world where everyone is recognised as valuable, needed and connected, and having the ability to make a positive difference. HumanKind's mission is to improve mental health and well-being by engaging communities and empowering individuals to be of service. Pam is a 2020 Acumen Fellow and 2010 Distinguished Alumni Recipient of Richmont Graduate University.
India | Founder, Dance Movement Therapy Practitioner, and Expressive Art Facilitator, Better Stories
Poulomi Pal has more than a decade of experience leading a number of organisations in the development sector across India and worked intensively with underprivileged children and young adults by using the arts for change. She has a dual Master’s Degree in Social Work and Development Communication, with specialisation in Counselling. She is a certified Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) Practitioner from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai & Kolkata Sanved. She works as a DMT consultant and an expressive art facilitator. She initiated her company's flagship programme by integrating art and movements for building Social Emotional Ethical Learning skills in children and young adults living in care homes and underserved communities. She founded Better Stories for providing social and emotional well-being through art and movement.
Nepal | Founder and Co-Manager, Virangana Comics
Promina Shrestha is an illustrator, comics artist and visual art researcher based in Nepal. She is a Creating Heroines Project alumna under the British Council, and a manager and artist with the Virangana comics anthology. She also manages an anthropological graphic novel "Batoghato: Himalayan Lives & Landscapes, And The Roads That Change Them" by Dr. Stacy L Pigg (Simon Fraser University). Her research interests include contemporary art forms in Nepal, and children's book illustrations and their impact on formative identities.
Razcel Jan Salvarita
The Philippines | Founder, Baryo Balangaw Creative Initiatives
Razcel Jan Salvarita is the Founder of Baryo Balangaw Creative Initiatives in Lambunao, Philippines. He is a multi-disciplinary creative artivist who aligns his community-based arts endeavours in the scope of activation, facilitation, and education. He is a recipient of numerous fellowships in arts leadership including the SEAD program from the Mekong Cultural Hub and the British Council, Future Art Leaders with the Australia Council for the Arts, ITAC Impact: Climate of the International Teaching Artist Collaborative, among others. He believes in the transformative power of the arts as a centering place for healing, recovery, and renewal of courage.
India | Director, Kolkata Centre for Creativity
Reena Dewan champions and facilitates inclusion, diversity and gender equality in arts spaces. She was instrumental in launching the first accessibility programme in Eastern India, that forms a bridge between people with special abilities and the arts. She works for social inclusion using the arts for the development of the marginalised and differently-abled. She is pioneering social changes by creating an inclusive culture in the Kolkata Centre for Creativity that addresses different abilities and choices, gender and sexual diversity, and responds to marginalized communities through appreciation and applications of the arts.
India | Art Access Consultant and Founder, Access for All
Siddhant Shah is a serial TEDx speaker, disability and arts access expert and Founder of Access for All, an organization that bridges the gap between museums, the arts and disability with a focus to provide physical, intellectual and social access at sites of cultural significance. He provides services for arts organisations, galleries, arts festivals, and museums to be accessible for visually impaired, hearing impaired, physically impaired and autistic groups. He has devised a method to integrate museum artifacts with arts-based therapy to make his unique inclusive arts programme. He has won several national-level awards and has been working across the globe with a team of artists with disabilities.
Stephany Harty Mutiah (Tia) Iskandar
Indonesia| Lecturer of Music, Universitas Pelita Harapan Conservatory of Music
Stephany Harty Mutiah (Tia) Iskandar is an Indonesian piano pedagogue, community music leader, and therapeutic play practitioner. She is passionate about using the power of music for health and well-being purposes. Tia graduated with a Master's Degree in Music from Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag. She was trained with Musicians Without Borders and Play Therapy International. As a musician, she has worked within various settings in Indonesia, the Netherlands, Germany, Iceland, and Norway. Currently, Tia serves as Lecturer in Universitas Pelita Harapan Conservatory of Music and teaches piano in her private studio, in which she also provides adaptive piano lessons for special needs.
Wei Hong Teo
Singapore | Head, Programmes (Creative Arts), *SCAPE
Wei Hong Teo leads a team of passionate journey crafters for aspiring youths at *SCAPE, a non-profit organisation championing youth engagement and development in Singapore. An established arts educator and creative, his work supports safe spaces for evidence-based experimentation and creation, and incubation of communities of practice in dance, music, visual and interdisciplinary arts. Besides accreditation from Beijing Dance Academy, he holds a Specialist Diploma in Arts Education from the National Institute of Education Singapore, and a Master of Arts Degree in Arts Pedagogy and Practice awarded by Goldsmiths, University of London, with his research and experiences presented at local, overseas and virtual conferences.
Xiao Jun Kow
Xiao Jun (XJ) Kow performs, creates and nurtures in the field of dance, theatre and design. She graduated with a Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture and a Bachelor's Degree in Architecture from the National University of Singapore. She believes that art stems from truth, goodness and beauty. On a lifelong journey of exploration and creation, XJ seeks to blur boundaries of categorisation and labelling in the arts, and for simplicity to breathe in her craft. XJ has worked with various practitioners and companies: Cake Theatre, P7:1SMA, Jeffrey Tan, Wei Chen (China), Lishan Li (China), Diansheng Geng (China), Chia-yu Tang (USA), Zaini Mohd Tahir, Jalyn Han, Gey Pin Ang (Singapore-Italy) etc.
Canada | Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge Coach, International Research & Exchanges Board
Dr. Yehuda Silverman is a peacebuilding pracademic who continues to explore and implement innovative methods in arts-based approaches for curriculum development. He has a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a concentration in International Peace from Nova Southeastern University. Yehuda is a Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge Coach for International Research & Exchanges Board and a King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) Fellow, where he is developing an intercultural dialogue initiative. He serves as an Accompanier-Mentor for Initiative of Change International's Emerging Agents of Change Programme, and recently developed and taught the course "Intrapersonal Peace and Conflict Prevention" as the Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow at Ursuline College.
China | University Assistant (prae-doc), University of Vienna
Yizhuo Li is a researcher of social practice, cartographic imagination, and Chinese culture. At the inaugural Al Balad residency in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, her work “Upstairs Map” examines women’s history in upstairs spaces to reconfigure maps. She also took part in a residency at Alfred University’s Institute for Electronic Arts, and curated “Viral Transmission” at OCAT Institute Beijing, which was shortlisted for the 2020 Research-Based Curatorial Project. She has contributed to Nonument (Ljubljana), Yell Space’s exhibition Partial Archive (Shanghai), and the upcoming edition of PARSE (Gothenburg). Yizhuo directed the FRESCO Collective / FRESCO Foundation in New York from 2018 to 2020. She is currently a predoctoral fellow in Sinology at the University of Vienna, and was trained in art history.
Indonesia | Co-Founder, Program Manager and PR Marketing Manager, Nalitari
Yoana Kristiawati is an arts and culture enthusiast, and developed her interest since learning about intercultural communication studies. Over time, she realized that the arts can be a tool for change, including shaping a more inclusive culture. In 2013, she was inspired to build a dance community that embraces inclusivity to spread the message. She is actively involved in Nalitari, along with three other female co-founders to promote inclusive dance at the regional, national, and even international level. Nalitari is now developing to apply social enterprise values that seek to be the leading voice of inclusiveness in Indonesia and globally.