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First HKETONY-Asian Cultural Council Fellowship to forge closer cultural ties (with photos)

     A fellowship scheme to provide for three outstanding Hong Kong artists to go to the US for intensive cultural exchanges in 2014 has been launched this month by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY), on its 30th anniversary, in conjunction with the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) which also celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

     Speaking at a joint press conference in New York today (September 19, New York time), the Director of HKETONY, Miss Anita Chan, said the HKETONY - ACC Fellowship Grants to Hong Kong Artists fell squarely with one of the missions of the office in promoting cultural exchanges and fostering closer cultural ties between Hong Kong and the 31 eastern states of the US. It also tied in with the overall policy objectives of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government in supporting the development of our artists and professionals working in the arts and cultural fields.

     Miss Chan added that Hong Kong has increasingly become an important arts and cultural hub, not just for the region but also for the world. She also highlighted the Government's strong support for arts groups and organisations as well as the development of the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) - an integrated arts and cultural district in the heart of Hong Kong that will house 17 core arts and cultural venues. She said with the WKCD facilities coming on stream in the coming years, Hong Kong would need a lot more art and culture talents such as art administrators, curators, managers, not to mention both visual and performing artists.

     "Recognising the importance and benefits of how vital these overseas exchange programmes are for Hong Kong artists, my office is pleased to partner with the ACC, a non-profit foundation that has an outstanding and long history of supporting arts and cultural exchanges between the US and Asia including Hong Kong as early as from the 1960s," Miss Chan added.

     The HKETONY-ACC Fellowship Grants will provide fellowships to three outstanding Hong Kong artists in the fields of visual arts, performing arts and art administration for a residency programme under the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York.

     Also speaking at the press conference, Executive Director of the ACC, Ms Miho Walsh, said the candidate pool from Hong Kong had always been very strong in all disciplines. "We are therefore confident that we will find stellar Hong Kong artists. During their residency programmes in New York, we will work closely with each of the three grantees to develop a customised programme to best suit their research and creative needs," she added.

     Thanking the HKETONY for making it possible to expand the ACC's Hong Kong fellowship programme in 2014, Ms Walsh said the initiative between the office and ACC would result in a greater impact in a part of the world where the number of qualified candidates often exceeded the number of grants that could be provided by the ACC.

     The applications will be open to Hong Kong artists now till November 1 at 5pm (Hong Kong time). The ACC will oversee the selection process in line with its past practices. Application information can be found on the websites of the ACC ( and the HKETONY (  

     Following the press conference, the HKETONY hosted a reception to celebrate the launch of the fellowship scheme as well as the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. About 100 guests, many from the arts and cultural sector in New York, attended the reception, which also showcased Hong Kong talents. Performing to a warm response at the reception were singer-song writer Miss Mara Measor and Wing Chun instructor Mr Alex Richter.

     Miss Measor is a Hong Kong native having just released her debut CD in New York City. Mr Richter, an avid kung fu follower since the age of eight, learnt Wing Chun with masters Leung Ting and Carson Lau in Hong Kong and the US.

Ends/Friday, September 20, 2013
Issued at HKT 11:11


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