WKCDA chief says WKCD and the arts could transform Hong Kong

exhibitionThe past few weeks has seen Mr Graham Sheffield, CEO of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, on a stakeholders engagement trail across the city to talk about Hong Kong’s most important arts and cultural project. Mr Sheffield participated in a number of events where he reiterated that the Authority needed to involve people from the outset so that the District and society can develop together because the WKCD would transform the quality of life in Hong Kong.

He shared the Authority’s vision for WKCD in three important events on the local cultural calendar: Business of Design Week 2010 (BODW), organised by the Hong Kong Design Centre; the Hong Kong Public Sector Reform Conference 2010; and “Up Close and Personal: Luncheon Talk with Graham Sheffield”, hosted by the Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association.

At the luncheon attended by over 100 arts and cultural professionals, Ms Tisa Ho, the Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, talked to Mr Sheffield about his views on arts education and cultural development. He said although many in the audience are responsible for managing organisations, they must work as a team to educate the public on the value of art. When asked about his experience in arts education, Mr Sheffield recalled his time as Artistic Director for London’s Barbican Centre, where he discovered that people who are interested in the arts are no longer satisfied with being passive viewers and consumers, but rather want to be involved in more meaningful ways. He also stressed that, if developed correctly, the WKCD could fundamentally change the city in 5 to 10 years.

exhibitionMr Sheffield also delivered a keynote speech at BODW, Asia's leading annual event for design, innovation and branding, during a session titled “Culture & the City”. He reinforced the Authority’s commitment to building the WKCD into a world-class cultural district and explained how it would turn this vision into reality, adding that partnership with the arts and cultural sector, creative learning, embracing new technology and working toward a sustainable future would all be critical to the development of the District.





exhibitionAt the Hong Kong Public Sector Reform Conference 2010, Mr Sheffield and Professor Daniel Chua, Head of the School of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong, discussed “Art Matters”, specifically the importance of arts to Hong Kong and its cultural, social and economic landscapes. Mr Sheffield outlined the WKCD’s potential role, adding that many big cities around the world are investing heavily in arts and culture because they realise it can foster a healthier society. (Click here to view the video clip of the session on the conference website.)