We welcomed 2019 anticipating another year of endless creativity, new networks connecting people and places, and engaging activities.

Led by ACC Philippines Foundation trustees, the year started with our annual commitment of raising funds for our grantees. We owe a big part of the success of the ACC Philippines Art Auction to a solid six-year partnership with Jaime Ponce de León's León Gallery. Their invaluable support year after year has enabled us to raise funds for our grants program. We also raised funds in partnership with ACC grantee Ma-Yi Theater Company on its 30th anniversary, by presenting Felix Starro, the first Filipino American production of an original off-Broadway musical.

We were delighted to support 2019 grantees—Abner Delina, Jr. (Theater), MM Yu and Gail Vicente of King Kong Art Projects (Conservation and Collections Management), Kevin Castelo (Graduate Scholarship in Music), and Zeny May Recidoro (Graduate Scholarship in Arts Criticism). In March, U.S.-based Filipina dance artists Elizabeth Roxas Dobrish and Elena Comendador made a homecoming, conducting dance-movement workshops. They worked with students from the Philippine High School for the Arts at the National Arts Center outside of Manila, youth scholars of Steps Dance Studio, and various dance and theater artists in Metro Manila. In September, theater lighting expert Jennifer Tipton conducted a Master Class on Lighting Design for dance. This grant to Ballet Philippines enabled the participation of up-and-coming lighting designers from all over the Philippines, as well as participants from Cambodia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. As part of Ballet Philippines’ 50th Anniversary, 1969 ACC grantee and Ballet Philippines founder Alice Reyes led this project promoting collaboration across various disciplines of stage production.

We commenced 2020 on a high note with our fundraising campaign held in February. The highly-anticipated event once again drew tremendous support from our art-loving patrons. Bolstered by our ongoing collaboration with León Gallery, the event culminated in a sense of accomplishment and gratitude.

Further on, we started navigating the looming restrictions brought about by the widespread health crisis. Naming this year’s grantees—Charles Ivan Yee (Graduate Scholarship in Theater), Sofia Santiago and Ana Tamula of The Museum Collective (Museum Studies), and VIVA ExCon (Visayan Island Visual Art Exhibition and Virtual International Conference)—in the wake of the pandemic meant adapting our fellowships to hybrid or totally virtual programs.

Despite the challenges, we remain steadfast in our work and faith in ACC’s mission. We emerged resilient in responding to unfolding global events and full of hope that our collective actions continue to spark inspired conversations, creativity and enrichment of the arts, and cultural exchanges across the Philippines, Asia, and the United States.

Teresa Rances
Director, ACC Philippines 


This message is part of ACC's 2019-2020 Annual Report. To read more, visit: https://www.asianculturalcouncil.org/pdf/2019-2020-annual-report.pdf.