Joseph Victor Gonzales, head of the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage (Aswara) dance faculty, is one of the speakers who will be featured in this year’s Borak Arts Series, to be held on Aug 29 and 30 at the George Town Festival 2015 in Penang.
The annual Borak Arts Series returns for the third time this year at its newfound residency at the George Town Festival 2015 (GTF) in Penang. Organised by My Performing Arts Agency (MyPAA), the two-day arts conference to be held at Penang’s St Giles Wembley on Aug 29 and 30 offers itself as a networking platform for anyone in the creative industry who wants to break boundaries and strengthen relationships across Asean communities.
So as to drive the point home, this year’s theme is “Asean And The Future”.
“Within the Asean region, artistes struggle for recognition, acceptance and to make a sustainable living. The Borak Arts Series is a preliminary step to open doors for more Asean artistes and their works to be recognised and further developed,” says Izan Satrina, co-founder and director of MyPAA, at a recent press conference in Kuala Lumpur.
MyPAA was founded three years ago to act as an arts consultancy to help connect artistes with sponsors. Previous Borak’s have focused on sustainability (“Building Sustainability In The Arts”, 2013) and how to find money (“Building Knowledge Capacity In Funding And Mobility”, 2014).
This year’s theme, with its rather pointed emphasis on the regional and minimalist reference to events which are yet to unfold, will probably be most acutely felt with the series’ change of venue, from KL to Penang.
In all other respects, however, it’s business as usual. The conference’s programme features keynote addresses, panel discussions, round robin sessions, networking platforms and performances. Two new components include One-on-One Meetings, which allows delegates to meet with local and international presenters, and Pitchpad Asean, a forum for Asean creators and arts professionals.
This year’s harvest of speakers include: Rithisal Kang, executive director of Cambodia’s Amrita Performing Arts; Amna Kusumo, founder and director of Indonesia’s Kelola Foundation; Joseph Victor Gonzales, head of the dance faculty at Aswara; Eliza Roberts, Australia’s Asialink Arts Residencies manager; Pauline Fan of Pusaka and arts activist Pang Khee Teik.
With titles of plenary sessions like “Asean Tradition And Putting A Contemporary Spin On It”, “Getting To Know Our International Fund Partners (With An Outlook On Asean)” and “Aligning Arts With Digital Marketing”, the Borak Arts Series’ positioning as a fund-driven marketplace for selling ideas and catching up with other creative industry insiders remains a welcome niche.
Of course, the organisers also welcome industry outsiders. But if your bread and butter is in the arts, perhaps this is where you might find your winning ticket.
Ten Asean submissions will be selected to pitch their works to more than 170 performing arts professionals. For more information and to apply for Pitchpad Asean, email email@example.com. Submission closes on July 31. Conference tickets are sold at RM150 (two-day admission) and RM80 (daily admission). For more info, visit mypaa.com.my/borakarts