Programme  >  Speakers

          

                 SPEAKERS

 

 

Mr Adrian Anantawan

Violinist (Canada)

 

Adrian Anantawan holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, Yale University and Harvard Graduate School of Education. Memorable moments include performances at the White House, the Opening Ceremonies of the Athens and Vancouver Olympic Games and the United Nations. He has played for the late Christopher Reeve and for Pope John Paul II, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 2010 her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II awarded him a Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to the Commonwealth. Currently Chair at the Music Department of Milton Academy in Boston, he also co-directed the Music Department at the Conservatory Lab Charter School from 2012 to 2016.

 

 

  

 

 

Ms Kate Hood
Artistic Director, Raspberry Ripple Productions (Australia)
 
Kate Hood has had a full career as an able-bodied actor, writer and director, which lasted for over 20 years. She has performed in classics and musicals, working for major theatres (Melbourne Theatre Company, State Theatre Company Adelaide, Hit Productions) and commercial production companies (Gordon Frost, Everyday Productions). Some of her credits include “Pygmalion”, “BigRiver”, “Buddy” and “Hotel Sorrento”. Her film and television credits include “Prisoner”, “Dancing in the Dust”, “The Flood” and “Blue Heelers” and she has worked as the main promotional voice-over artist for the ABC. She has directed for Melbourne Fringe, the Brisbane Festival, Opera Plus and Jane O'Toole Productions. 
 
As a wheelchair user, Kate reinvented herself as a disabled actor, has worked extensively as a voiceover artist, working commercially and winning awards for her audio book narrations for Bolinda Publications. She now writes and performs her own work, which includes monologue, short story and spoken word. Some examples are “Queen Esme of Collingwood”, “Growl, Motor Neurone” and “The Girl with the Blue Hair”. In 2016, Kate formed the production company Raspberry Ripple Productions, and plans to collaborate with disabled and non-disabled performers to create work which dissolves the divide between the mainstream and disability arts sectors.  She collaborates with others as director, mentor and dramaturge (Quippings, Theatre on Wheels) and has become a strong advocate for actors with a disability, sitting on the board of Arts Access Victoria and Actors Equity's Diversity Committee as Deputy Chair. 
 

  

 

 

 
Mr Yoshihiro Kaiya
President, Japan Barrier-free Association (Japan)
 
Yoshihiro Kaiya is not only the president of the Japan Barrier-free Association, he also works to promote disabled musicians through concerts across Japan. When not involved in his concert planning, he uses his experience as a disabled student in America to build bridges internationally and promote acceptance and integration of persons with disabilities within Japan. 
 
Yoshihiro Kaiya is also a part-time lecturer at Kokushikan University and is a Barrier-free Education and Development Cooperation Researcher at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Education. He is part of the committee at NHK Welfare and Culture Agency and also serves as a member in the Associative Council for Handicapped Railway Workers Social Welfare Corporation.  
 
 
 
 

  

 

 

 
Dr Justin Lee
Research Fellow, Institute of Policy Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (Singapore)
 
Justin Lee is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies. He is interested in understanding the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable populations and is embarking on a project to crowdsource social needs with community partners using a wiki platform. He has studied what counts as inclusion of people with disabilities at work, and is hosting a Disability Network for voluntary and disabled people's organisations in Singapore. He is also Chairperson of ArtsWok Collaborative, a non-profit organisation engaged in arts-based community development projects that seek to build the capacity of socially-engaged arts groups through training, research and advocacy.
 

  

 

 

 
Ms Sokny Onn
Co-Director, Epic Arts (Cambodia)
 
Sokny is one of the Co-Directors at Epic Arts. She has worked for Epic Arts for 10 years, from her position as Accountants Assistant, to her current position as Co-Director. She is also a committee member for the Kampot Arts Festival.  
 
She was awarded a place in the Creative Leadership programme with Cambodia Living Arts in January 2013, and in 2015, was one among five Living Arts Fellows. Through a year-long program, Fellows developed in-depth expertise on universal themes related to culture, cultural leadership and a sustainable society. She is also one of the Fellows who took part in The Social Change Through The Arts programme leadership in the United States in 2017. 
 
She strongly believes that culture and arts are essential tools for the development of a country. And as an advocate for inclusive arts, she hopes that through her work at Epic Arts, she can help to promote the message that art is for all, regardless of ability, and that every person counts.
 

  

 

 

Mr Buntheng Ou
Epic Arts (Cambodia)
 
Buntheng is the Operations and Tour Manager for Epic Arts Kampot. He has worked with and supported artists living with disabilities to create creative dance gestures and performances that are showcased both locally and internationally.
 
He is also a strong advocate for inclusiveness and started his journey in the disability sector in 2012 as he was inspired by his son, Vathnak, who has Down Syndrome.
 
Buntheng believes that every person is a genius.
 

  

 

 

Mr Pete Sparkes

Artistic Director, Drake Music Scotland (United Kingdom)
 

Pete is a musician and educator specialising in working with technology and inclusive methodology. Pete is Artistic Director of Drake Music Scotland and has also worked with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and various other UK music organisations. His particular specialism is working creatively with children and adults with additional support needs – including the creative use of music technology and other innovative tools like Figurenotes notation. He led the creation of the fabulous Digital Orchestra in 2016 and regularly presents on his work at conferences.

 

 

 
  
 
 
 
Dr Azariah Tan
Pianist (Singapore)
 
Azariah Tan, 27, graduated with a Doctor in Musical Arts in Piano Performance from University of Michigan, under the guidance of Dr. Logan Skelton. The National Arts Council-Conservatory scholar and President’s Young Performer, was placed on the Dean’s List multiple times at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music where he did his undergraduate studies with Albert Tiu and graduated with first-class honors in 2011. He
went on to study at the Earl V. Moore School of Music, University of Michigan, where he graduated with two Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance and in Chamber Music, as well as being nominated by the piano department for the Earl V. Moore Award. 
 
Azariah was a recipient of the VSArts International Young Soloists Award in Washington, DC, the NUS Outstanding Young Alumni Award 2017, the NUSS Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievement (Arts & Culture) 2009, full-scholarships from the University of Michigan, the National Arts Council of Singapore, and the Yamaha Music Foundation of Japan. He has been a first-prize winner at several national, as well as international piano competitions since 2005. More recently, he won the first prize for both the Solo and
Concerto categories at the American Prize 2012, the “Laureate” title at the WPTA International Piano Competition 2013 and two top prizes in 2014 at The New York International Artists Association Piano Competition and The American Protégé International Concerto Competition.
 

  

 

  

Ms Kris Yoshie
Director, Slow Label (Japan)
 
Kris Yoshie is a creative producer and director working across a wide range of fields in art and design, engaged in uncovering the extraordinary in the ordinary.  In 2010, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and lost the function of lower part of her right leg. This led her to encounter welfare services for the disabled. She has been established SLOW LABEL in 2011 and also served as General Director of an international arts festival by collaboration between people with disability and varies fields of professional creators 'Yokohama Paratriennale'. Program Advisor of Nippon Foundation Diversity In The Arts Performing Arts Group, The 65th Yokohama Culture Prize’s Culture and Arts Encouragement Award,Time Out Tokyo Love Tokyo Awards’ "Face of Tokyo" Award (2016)

 

  

 

 

 

Mr Alirio Zavarce
Director, No Strings Attached (Australia)
 
A multi-award-winning director and theatre maker, Alirio Zavarce was born in Caracas, Venezuela and migrated to Australia in 1992, graduating from the Flinders University Drama Centre in 2000. He has numerous performance credits with theatre companies across Australia including Sydney Theatre Company, Victorian Opera, The Malthouse and State Theatre Company of South Australia.Alirio is currently the Artistic Director of AJZ Productions, True North Youth Theatre Ensemble and No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability. 
 
In 2015, Alirio received The Citizen of The Year Award from The City of Port Adelaide Enfield. He went on to direct ‘A Kid Like Me’ which was presented as part of the Come Out Festival for Children in May 2015, and represented Australia in the 2016 Worlds Festival for Children's Theatre in Canada, winning The Ruby Award 2016. His notable works for No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability include ‘Trapped’ (Winner of the 2011 Fringe Graham Smith Peace Trust Award) and ‘Sons & Mothers’ (Winner of the 2012 Fringe Best Theatre Production, Adelaide Festival Centre inSPACE development Award and The Adelaide Critics Circle Best in Fringe Award). 
 
Alirio is currently developing “The Tower of Babel”, “The Book of Errors” and “I Forgot to Remember To Forget” which will have its World Premiere at the True Colours Festival in Singapore 2018.
 
 

                   

                  

                 MODERATOR 

                  

Mr Kenneth Kwok

Kenneth Kwok is the Assistant Chief Executive (Planning and Engagement) at the National Arts Council and sits on the advisory committee of Very Special Theatrics. He was previously with the Ministry of Education as a secondary school classroom teacher, Head of Pupil Welfare, and Vice-Principal, and has taught Educational Drama at the National Institute of Education as an adjunct lecturer. He has a Masters in Arts in Education, and has worked with various Singapore arts groups over the years on a range of community arts and arts education programmes.    

 

 

 

   

SPEAKERS

 

 

Mr Adrian Anantawan

Violinist (Canada)

 

Adrian Anantawan holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, Yale University and Harvard Graduate School of Education. Memorable moments include performances at the White House, the Opening Ceremonies of the Athens and Vancouver Olympic Games and the United Nations. He has played for the late Christopher Reeve and for Pope John Paul II, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 2010 her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II awarded him a Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to the Commonwealth. Currently Chair at the Music Department of Milton Academy in Boston, he also co-directed the Music Department at the Conservatory Lab Charter School from 2012 to 2016.

 

 

Ms Kate Hood
Artistic Director, Raspberry Ripple Productions (Australia)
 
Kate Hood has had a full career as an able-bodied actor, writer and director, which lasted for over 20 years. She has performed in classics and musicals, working for major theatres (Melbourne Theatre Company, State Theatre Company Adelaide, Hit Productions) and commercial production companies (Gordon Frost, Everyday Productions). Some of her credits include “Pygmalion”, “BigRiver”, “Buddy” and “Hotel Sorrento”. Her film and television credits include “Prisoner”, “Dancing in the Dust”, “The Flood” and “Blue Heelers” and she has worked as the main promotional voice-over artist for the ABC. She has directed for Melbourne Fringe, the Brisbane Festival, Opera Plus and Jane O'Toole Productions. 
 
As a wheelchair user, Kate reinvented herself as a disabled actor, has worked extensively as a voiceover artist, working commercially and winning awards for her audio book narrations for Bolinda Publications. She now writes and performs her own work, which includes monologue, short story and spoken word. Some examples are “Queen Esme of Collingwood”, “Growl, Motor Neurone” and “The Girl with the Blue Hair”. In 2016, Kate formed the production company Raspberry Ripple Productions, and plans to collaborate with disabled and non-disabled performers to create work which dissolves the divide between the mainstream and disability arts sectors.  She collaborates with others as director, mentor and dramaturge (Quippings, Theatre on Wheels) and has become a strong advocate for actors with a disability, sitting on the board of Arts Access Victoria and Actors Equity's Diversity Committee as Deputy Chair. 

 

 

Mr Yoshihiro Kaiya
President, Japan Barrier-free Association (Japan)
 
Yoshihiro Kaiya is not only the president of the Japan Barrier-free Association, he also works to promote disabled musicians through concerts across Japan. When not involved in his concert planning, he uses his experience as a disabled student in America to build bridges internationally and promote acceptance and integration of persons with disabilities within Japan. 
 
Yoshihiro Kaiya is also a part-time lecturer at Kokushikan University and is a Barrier-free Education and Development Cooperation Researcher at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Education. He is part of the committee at NHK Welfare and Culture Agency and also serves as a member in the Associative Council for Handicapped Railway Workers Social Welfare Corporation.  

 

 

 
Dr Justin Lee
Research Fellow, Institute of Policy Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (Singapore)
 
Justin Lee is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies. He is interested in understanding the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable populations and is embarking on a project to crowdsource social needs with community partners using a wiki platform. He has studied what counts as inclusion of people with disabilities at work, and is hosting a Disability Network for voluntary and disabled people's organisations in Singapore. He is also Chairperson of ArtsWok Collaborative, a non-profit organisation engaged in arts-based community development projects that seek to build the capacity of socially-engaged arts groups through training, research and advocacy.

 

 

Ms Sokny Onn
Co-Director, Epic Arts (Cambodia)
 
Sokny is one of the Co-Directors at Epic Arts. She has worked for Epic Arts for 10 years, from her position as Accountants Assistant, to her current position as Co-Director. She is also a committee member for the Kampot Arts Festival.  
 
She was awarded a place in the Creative Leadership programme with Cambodia Living Arts in January 2013, and in 2015, was one among five Living Arts Fellows. Through a year-long program, Fellows developed in-depth expertise on universal themes related to culture, cultural leadership and a sustainable society. She is also one of the Fellows who took part in The Social Change Through The Arts programme leadership in the United States in 2017. 
 
She strongly believes that culture and arts are essential tools for the development of a country. And as an advocate for inclusive arts, she hopes that through her work at Epic Arts, she can help to promote the message that art is for all, regardless of ability, and that every person counts.

 

 

Mr Buntheng Ou
Epic Arts (Cambodia)
 
Buntheng is the Operations and Tour Manager for Epic Arts Kampot. He has worked with and supported artists living with disabilities to create creative dance gestures and performances that are showcased both locally and internationally.
 
He is also a strong advocate for inclusiveness and started his journey in the disability sector in 2012 as he was inspired by his son, Vathnak, who has Down Syndrome.
 
Buntheng believes that every person is a genius.

 

 

Mr Pete Sparkes
Artistic Director, Drake Music Scotland (United Kingdom)
 

Pete is a musician and educator specialising in working with technology and inclusive methodology. Pete is Artistic Director of Drake Music Scotland and has also worked with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and various other UK music organisations. His particular specialism is working creatively with children and adults with additional support needs – including the creative use of music technology and other innovative tools like Figurenotes notation. He led the creation of the fabulous Digital Orchestra in 2016 and regularly presents on his work at conferences.

 

 

Dr Azariah Tan
Pianist (Singapore)
 
Azariah Tan, 27, graduated with a Doctor in Musical Arts in Piano Performance from University of Michigan, under the guidance of Dr. Logan Skelton. The National Arts Council-Conservatory scholar and President’s Young Performer, was placed on the Dean’s List multiple times at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music where he did his undergraduate studies with Albert Tiu and graduated with first-class honors in 2011. He
went on to study at the Earl V. Moore School of Music, University of Michigan, where he graduated with two Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance and in Chamber Music, as well as being nominated by the piano department for the Earl V. Moore Award. 
 
Azariah was a recipient of the VSArts International Young Soloists Award in Washington, DC, the NUS Outstanding Young Alumni Award 2017, the NUSS Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievement (Arts & Culture) 2009, full-scholarships from the University of Michigan, the National Arts Council of Singapore, and the Yamaha Music Foundation of Japan. He has been a first-prize winner at several national, as well as international piano competitions since 2005. More recently, he won the first prize for both the Solo and
Concerto categories at the American Prize 2012, the “Laureate” title at the WPTA International Piano Competition 2013 and two top prizes in 2014 at The New York International Artists Association Piano Competition and The American Protégé International Concerto Competition.

 

 

Ms Kris Yoshie

Director, Slow Label (Japan)
 
Kris Yoshie is a creative producer and director working across a wide range of fields in art and design, engaged in uncovering the extraordinary in the ordinary.  In 2010, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and lost the function of lower part of her right leg. This led her to encounter welfare services for the disabled. She has been established SLOW LABEL in 2011 and also served as General Director of an international arts festival by collaboration between people with disability and varies fields of professional creators 'Yokohama Paratriennale'. Program Advisor of Nippon Foundation Diversity In The Arts Performing Arts Group, The 65th Yokohama Culture Prize’s Culture and Arts Encouragement Award,Time Out Tokyo Love Tokyo Awards’ "Face of Tokyo" Award (2016)

 

  

 

Mr Alirio Zavarce
Director, No Strings Attached (Australia)
 
A multi-award-winning director and theatre maker, Alirio Zavarce was born in Caracas, Venezuela and migrated to Australia in 1992, graduating from the Flinders University Drama Centre in 2000. He has numerous performance credits with theatre companies across Australia including Sydney Theatre Company, Victorian Opera, The Malthouse and State Theatre Company of South Australia.Alirio is currently the Artistic Director of AJZ Productions, True North Youth Theatre Ensemble and No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability. 
 
In 2015, Alirio received The Citizen of The Year Award from The City of Port Adelaide Enfield. He went on to direct ‘A Kid Like Me’ which was presented as part of the Come Out Festival for Children in May 2015, and represented Australia in the 2016 Worlds Festival for Children's Theatre in Canada, winning The Ruby Award 2016. His notable works for No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability include ‘Trapped’ (Winner of the 2011 Fringe Graham Smith Peace Trust Award) and ‘Sons & Mothers’ (Winner of the 2012 Fringe Best Theatre Production, Adelaide Festival Centre inSPACE development Award and The Adelaide Critics Circle Best in Fringe Award). 
 

 

Alirio is currently developing “The Tower of Babel”, “The Book of Errors” and “I Forgot to Remember To Forget” which will have its World Premiere at the True Colours Festival in Singapore 2018.

                   

                  

MODERATOR 

                  

Mr Kenneth Kwok

Kenneth Kwok is the Assistant Chief Executive (Planning and Engagement) at the National Arts Council and sits on the advisory committee of Very Special Theatrics. He was previously with the Ministry of Education as a secondary school classroom teacher, Head of Pupil Welfare, and Vice-Principal, and has taught Educational Drama at the National Institute of Education as an adjunct lecturer. He has a Masters in Arts in Education, and has worked with various Singapore arts groups over the years on a range of community arts and arts education programmes.    

 

 

 

Presenter

Presenter

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Joint Organisers
    
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