- Anita Chung Chief Operating Officer, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation
- S. Alice Mong Executive Director, Asia Society Hong Kong Center
- Angie Tang Senior Advisor, Asia Value Advisors
These past few decades in Asia have introduced a significant shift from manufacturing to industrialization. The industrialization process has brought about the rise of upper middle class, the growth of their cultural demands, and the creation of urban artistic zones. Creative spaces and the role of philanthropic support for arts and heritage are some of the means to foster community inclusion. Meanwhile, amidst the accelerated pace of urbanization and economic development, there is a need as well to preserve the cultural and social identity of a city to remind the young and old alike of its heritage and its identity as means to foster solidarity in the community.
Ms. Tang kicked off and framed the session with the Athenian Oath to instill and elevate the importance of governing a city to always be better. And at its core, community inclusion is one key element that fosters this shared identity as a city grounded by its heritage as it looks forward to the future.
Ms. Chung cited the importance of the arts as central to human existence. Art is connected to creativity and to imagination. Cities need to cherish creativity as a measure of social progress since it provides the capacity to give meaning to human lives, to inspire self-awareness and one’s engagement to the community. Ms. Chung believes that the role of her foundation is to focus on people and how to connect them with the arts, artistic creations, and related practices to both create and appreciate arts.
For Ms. Mong, her organization came about as a collaborative effort across different stakeholders including the government, the Jockey Club, and other philanthropic funders to promote Hong Kong as a global city steeped not only in business but also in heritage, arts and culture.
Both panelists reiterated the importance of and need for collaboration as front and center to their work and organizations. Through their organizations’ convening powers, they can leverage their platforms to connect across the arts and heritage players and activities.
The panelists and facilitator also spoke to the increasingly important role and power of technology in democratizing not just philanthropic support for the arts and heritage space but also in providing the collective voice for the community to express itself in both global and local stages in ways that were previously not possible.