Raising the bar
Advanced Cultural Leadership Programme
The University of Hong Kong and the Clore Leadership Programme
Professor Daniel Chua of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has a vision to bring world-class cultural leadership to the city.
"Hong Kong is a place that wants to excel in culture and it is important to bring a high level of leadership to the [arena]," says the director of the advanced cultural leadership programme, launched last year by HKU and the Clore leadership programme in Britain. The programme, which recruits 20 students a year, has enlisted cultural leaders as teachers, such as John Tusa, former managing director of the Barbican Centre, and Benson Puah, CEO of Singapore's National Arts Council.
Chua says working experience in a cultural organisation is not a must. "There are architects who aim to contribute to art through buildings, educators in the art field, and members of the media in the art aspect and of course there are curators and artists in the mix of students," he says. "The diverse background of the students is beneficial to learning."
The one-year programme consists of short courses, mostly residential to allow students to focus on learning.
Students spend six days away at the Beas River Country Club to attend a retreat chaired by Chua and Tusa, exploring aspects of cultural leadership. There are also courses on managing the art business, working with people and increasing public engagement. Occasional lectures, workshops and public events complement the topics discussed in the retreats and courses.