Our History

Asian Cultural Council in the Philippines

The American occupation of the Philippines at the end of the 19th century and Philippine independence after World War II have contributed to deep and complex ties between the two countries. It was therefore natural for the Philippines to play an important part in the initial years of The JDR 3rd Fund's Asian Cultural Program. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s approximately 40 fellowships were awarded to individual arts professionals from the Philippines.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the program's geographic emphasis became skewed toward those regions for which country-specific funding was available, such as in Japan and Hong Kong where ACC opened affiliate offices, and in Indonesia through a partnership with the Ford Foundation. Still, approximately 30 individual fellowships were awarded in the Philippines during this two-decade period.

At the end of the 1990s, a group of supporters coalesced to establish the ACC Philippines Foundation in Manila. The foundation agreed to serve as ACC’s partner in raising funds and making grants, and the Philippines Fellowship Program of the Asian Cultural Council was launched in 2000. Since then, the program has enabled ACC to award approximately 60 individual fellowships, with a broader balance of disciplines than in earlier years. For the new generation of stellar arts leaders, who have few opportunities to receive support for their work or for international experience, ACC continues to play an important role in the Philippines.