Perspectives on Cultural Governance: Lessons from Research in The Philippines and Taiwan

Jason Vitorillo, Lecturer in Arts Management at LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore

Jerry Liu, Professor (Associate) in Graduate School of Arts Management and Cultural Policy, National Taiwan University of Arts ·

27th February, 6:30 – 7:45pm

Presentation audio and slides will be available shortly.

The talks were made possible through funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council in support of Brokering Intercultural Exchange

The Bayanihan Spirit: Cultural Governance in the Philippines

The Bayanihan is a Filipino custom derived from a Filipino word “bayan”, which means a town or nation. The term itself literally refers to the spirit of communal unity, work and cooperation to achieve a particular goal. Bayanihan has been identified by social scientists as an ancient Filipino custom, symbolic of the Filipino way of group work, though its spirit is not peculiar to the Filipinos alone. Bayanihan is also known as tulongan or damayan (to help or aid), a system of mutual help and concern which has become the backbone of family and village life throughout the Philippine archipelago.

More often, cultural practitioners and creators focus on satisfying the policy demands of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the de facto cultural ministry and mandated to administer public funding for the preservation, conservation and promotion of Philippine culture and arts, to gain its support. But with the limitations of the NCCA, it needs to realize that solutions to intangible cultural heritage conservation issues are best generated by people who are closest to the issues because they deal with the dynamic relationships and changes on the ground, rather than from a national office in Manila.

In this talk, the speaker introduced a discourse on cultural governance and the complexities of power relations in the Philippines. Is there a room for the Bayanihan ideology in cultural governance of intangible cultural heritage of indigenous communities in the Philippines?

ReOrient: Cultural Economic Policy in Taiwan

Arguing for a ReOrient of cultural economic policy is not to be anti-West, or even necessarily contra-West. As to a great extent, the West is already inside most of Asian. By taking ReOrient as a method, we mean to “reflect”, “reinterpret”, “restructure”, and “realign” the concept of “Orient,” and to look for possibilities of a localized discourse of cultural economic governance in Taiwan (and East Asia). In the lecture, the speaker introduced discourses and practices of contemporary cultural economy in Taiwan, and its historic roots. How does the Ministry of Culture play a role in the policy of creative & cultural industries and international trade of cultural goods and services? And what is the logic underlying its decision-making? We are also testing potentials and limits of such an East Asian Approach on state cultural economy.

Speaker Biographies:

Jason Vitorillo holds an MA in Arts Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. He was a recipient of the International Fellowships Program of Ford Foundation in 2009. He has been in the academe for over ten years, and was previously the Program Chair of the Arts Management Program of the School of Design and Arts, College of Saint Benilde. He is teaching currently and is the Lecturer-in-Charge of the BA(Hons) Arts Management Programme at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore.

His research interests include international cultural policy, models of arts funding, arts and cultural management education, and intangible cultural heritage of indigenous communities. He has presented at conferences overseas. These include:

“Whose governance, whose good? The role of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts on cultural governance of indigenous communities in the Philippines” at the 2017 International Symposium on Cultural Trajectories: Cultural Governance and Daily Life, National Taiwan University of Arts, Taipei, Taiwan, 2-3 November 2017

“Are the identities of indigenous communities truly safeguarded by the Schools of Living Traditions (SLTs)? An investigation on the impact of the Hudhud Schools of Living Traditions on the identity constructions of the Ifugaos?” at the ESA-Arts 2016, 9th Midterm Conference of the RN-Sociology of the Arts (Arts and Creativity: Working on Identity and Difference), University of Porto, Portugal, 8-10 September 2016

“Are Indigenous Communities Benefiting from the Schools of Living Traditions (SLTs): An Evaluation of the Programme and Economic Viability of the SLTs in Northern Philippines” at the 9th International Conference on Cultural Policy Research 2016, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, South Korea, 5-9 July 2016

Together with colleagues in LASALLE, he recently conducted a series of workshop in 2017 on Principles of Arts Management and Audience Building entitled, Managing Islands of Creativity, organized by LASALLE College of the Arts in co-operation with George Town Festival, Penang, Malaysia.

Jerry C Y Liu is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate School of Arts Management and Cultural Policy / Think Tank for Taiwan Cultural Policy at the National Taiwan University of Arts. Liu is the President of Taiwan Association of Cultural Policy Studies since 2015. Liu is the author and editor of The Mapping of Cultural Rights in Taiwan (2015) and Global Cities, Cultural Governance and Cultural Strategies: Art-Cultural Events, Festivals and Cultural Images (2013, both in Chinese).