Events > International Producers Breakfast > VA x ASEF Unplugged: Cultural Leadership

VA x ASEF Unplugged: Cultural Leadership

22nd August 2019

08:00 - 08:45

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

What is cultural leadership? Is the notion purely western as often claimed? Are cultural leaders born or made? What skills and competencies set a leader apart in today’s complex workplace? How best can emerging leaders be supported? As a recent special Arts Management Quarterly edition highlights, cultural leadership is hot topic of the moment, with many courses, fellowships and capacity building programmes mushrooming in the last years.

In partnership with Visiting Arts, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) invites you to ASEF Unplugged: Conversations on the Arts in Asia and Europe – What makes an arts manager a cultural leader?

Featuring guest speakers Pooja Sood, Director, JKCC and founder of ArtThinkSouthAsia training programme for arts managers and Hilary Carty, Director of Clore Leadership Programme. The conversation will be moderated by Anupama Sekhar, Director for Culture at Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).

ASEF Unplugged – a new event series from the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) offers an informal and intimate spaces for open, authentic and peer-to-peer conversations. Designed as a meet-and-greet session, ASEF Unplugged is a format responsive to the rapidly changing needs of an increasingly interactive and engaged audience. ASEF Unplugged gathers groups of cultural professionals for collective conversations, both among themselves and with international guests. Distinctions between speakers and audiences are expected to diminish dramatically. ASEF Unplugged: Conversations on the Arts in Asia and Europe was launched in May 2018 in Prague, the Czech Republic in partnership with the Arts and Theatre Institute. ASEF Unplugged has been on the journey across Asia since then. Coming to Scotland in 2019 as part of Visiting Arts’ International Producers’ Breakfast programme, ASEF expands on it’s longstanding relationship with Visiting Arts.

Your views:
Share your thoughts and ideas on cultural leadership. Post to Twitter #VAPB2019 or on the Facebook event page.

About the speakers

Hilary Carty started her career in the performing arts, specialising in dance and becoming General Manager of the Adzido Dance Company (1990-94), before being appointed as Director of Dance for Arts Council England (1994-2003). Following this she was appointed to senior roles in policy development in the Arts Council and contributed to the formation of the cultural programme of the 2012 London Olympic Games. She is well known for her period as director of the £22m government-funded Cultural Leadership Programme between 2006 and 2011. Since then she has worked in the UK and overseas as a consultant in the arts and cultural industries, and most recently as a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Management and Business, King’s College, London, for which in 2017 she directed an international Executive Leadership Programme: Leading Culture in the 21st Century. Hilary works as a coach, and has written and lectured widely on the subjects of leadership and cultural development. Hilary Carty was appointed Director of Clore Leadership in September 2017 and currently serves as a member of the Learning and Participation Committee of the Royal Opera House, a trustee of the Horniman Museum & Gardens, a governor of De Montfort University, a director of Creative United and a member of the London Committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Previous appointments include being a trustee of the Arts Foundation and a director of the Siobhan Davies Dance Company.

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Pooja Sood is an independent curator and art management consultant with a focus on the field of curating alternative contemporary art practices in India as well as exploring different models of institution building for contemporary art. With expertise in the establishing and running of cultural networks she is keen to understand and explore the long term potential of global networks of artists. She is committed to developing the infrastructure for the arts in India and develop ongoing dialogue in south Asia. Pooja started her career as curator and administrator at Delhi-based Eicher Gallery in 1994 before becoming Director of KHOJ International Artists’ Association – an autonomous, artists’ led registered society aimed at promoting intercultural understanding through experimentation and exchange.  From 2000-2010, she was the Regional Coordinator of the Triangle Arts Trust, UK where she researched and facilitated the establishment of independent not for profit visual art organizations in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal called SANA (South Asian Network for the Arts). She was the Curator of the Apeejay Media Gallery from 2002-2007. She was also the Director of Artists Pension Trust, Mumbai (2007-8) and the Artistic Director and curator of the 48 °C Public.Art.Ecology project in 2008. Since 2009, she has been serving as the Director of ARThinkSouthAsia (ATSA), an arts management programme for young managers in the cultural sphere. From November 2015 to February 2019; Sood also served as the Director General of Jawahar Kala Kendra, an arts centre in Jaipur established by the Rajasthan Government. Sood has been on several international juries, like the IAPA award of the Institute of Public Art, Shanghai (2014), the Asia Pacific Breweries Signature prize hosted by the Singapore Art Museum (2014–15) and the Korean Art prize, Seoul (2013). Sood is currently working on curating the Pune Biennale which is to be held in November–December 2019.

Anupama SEKHAR, an Indian national, joined ASEF in January 2009. As the Director of the Culture Department, she is currently in charge of ASEF’s strategy in arts, culture & heritage as well as the day-to-day operations of the Department. Anupama is responsible for ASEF’s programme portfolio in culture, which comprises of digital platforms ( &, travel grants (Mobility First!), training (ASEF Roadschool), events (ASEF Unplugged: Conversations on Arts & Culture in Asia & Europe) and support to ASEM initiatives (ASEM Cultural Festival). In particular, she designs the Department’s work in the field of cultural policy, with the aim of stimulating analysis and engagement reflective of current debates in the arts in Asia and Europe. She works to facilitate civil society engagement with policymakers at the ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meeting as part of the G2G Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) informal dialogue process. Anupama represents ASEF on the Executive Committee of the Asia-Europe Museum Network (ASEMUS). Currently, Anupama is part of EU UNESCO Expert Facility (2019-2022), which supports capacity development initiatives for the implementation of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. As part of the UNESCO Expert Facility (2015-2018), she has led technical assistance missions to the governments of Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Philippines. She holds degrees in English Literature and International Studies. She is a trained dancer in the Indian classical style of Bharatnatyam. Prior to joining ASEF, Anupama worked with the International Labour Organisation and with independent arts spaces in India.