WKCDA helps aspiring arts professionals learn leadership skills

exhibitionDelivering on its objective to support the growth of students and professionals in the local arts industry, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) recently awarded fellowships to six enrollees in The University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) Advanced Cultural Leadership Programme (ACLP).

The ACLP, a collaboration between HKU and the world-renowned Clore Leadership Programme in the United Kingdom, aims to develop leadership skills among practising arts professionals. Kicking off the programme this year was the ACLP Retreat held between January 16 and 21, which concluded in part with a public forum on "Leading Change".

The WKCDA fellowship winners come from different backgrounds, but all share a common passion for arts and culture as well as the desire to help this industry take centre stage in Hong Kong. The six winners are:

1) Ms CHAN Chung-ying, Anna (arts educator/ administrator)
2) Ms CHAN Jo-win, Joanne (arts administrator)
3) Dr CHAN Yeeshan (filmmaker)
4) Mr FUNG King-hang, Martin (architect/ curator)
5) Ms LEE Ka-ying, Jenny (radio presenter for fine music and arts channel)
6) Mr ZEE Yau, Eddy (producer and actor)

ACLP fellowship winners offer glimpses of a bright future for Hong Kong arts

The WKCDA recently communicated with three of the six fellowship winners just before they departed for the ACLP Retreat to learn more about what they hope to gain from the programme, how they see the future of the arts in Hong Kong, and the role West Kowloon Cultural District can play in its development.

Dr CHAN Yeeshan

exhibitionA filmmaker by profession with a background in anthropology, Dr. Chan sees the ACLP as a platform to gain the rich insights of internationally established figures and learn important strategies that are intrinsic to the smooth functioning of the industry. She says she is particularly pleased with how the programme serves as an "industrial incubator."

Dr. Chan is currently involved with CastDifferent, an online service to deliver a trustworthy and transparent infrastructure for artists, talent and backstage creative workers in Hong Kong and China. (The total population of filmmakers in the Greater China region is estimated to be over 500,000 people.) For Dr. Chan, she believes CastDifferent and the WKCDA share the same vision to support the well-being of this ‘giant industry’ in Greater China.

Dr. Chan cites Haruki Murakami, Julianne Moore, Radu Mihaileanu, Wang Quan An and Emi Wada as some of her current favourite artists, although she also believes that a healthy attitude for appreciating arts means not being limited to keeping rigid favourites, since these can shift over time.

Ms LEE Ka ying, Jenny

exhibitionFor Jenny, a young radio presenter for a music and arts channel, her interest in the arts started early on—her parents were equally enthusiastic about both Eastern and Western arts and culture, exposing Jenny to piano, ballet, drama, painting, literature and languages from the age of four. In middle school she developed a passion for Chinese culture and the arts, particularly the qin and calligraphy.

Jenny loves languages, traveling, playing qin, creating multimedia productions with friends, performing, reading and watching movies. Her years at Kings College and the Royal Academy of Music in London were an ‘eye-opening experience’ for her as she was exposed to the world of arts on a truly global scale.

Jenny believes that the ACLP will help her broaden her horizons even further and enhance her overall skill sets as an artist, which in turn will help her contribute more to the arts and culture scene in Hong Kong.

Mr ZEE Yau, Eddy

exhibitionWhen Eddy joined his university’s drama club during his first year, he immediately developed a keen interest in the world of arts. Now a producer and actor, Eddy believes that the ACLP will help him enhance his leadership skills and give him the opportunity to learn from brilliant leaders and observe their different styles.

Eddy hopes to write and direct his own theatre piece, and he also dreams of creating a local performing arts project that tours major cities across the world. He says the WKCD can act as a catalyst in enhancing the potential of artists in Hong Kong by providing them the space needed to refine and exhibit their talent. While Eddy looks forward to a lot of high-quality overseas performances at WKCD, he is equally hopeful and excited about the performances of local talent.

Eddy hopes to gain better global connections through the ACLP and more exposure to the global arts and culture scene to boost his own expertise and eventually give back to the Hong Kong arts community.