Mekong Cultural Hub

Professional Exchange Program 2022: Open Call for Participation

MCH is pleased to announce Professional Exchange Program 2022, a Peer-to-Peer Professional Exchange space for art and culture practitioners who work at the intersection of art and society in Mekong Region and Taiwan. The program has been devised by MCH team after two very different earlier chapters of the program. 

Important dates:

📆 Deadline for Submission is extended to: July 25, 2022

MCH program Manager Jennifer Lee has been invested and worked with different versions:

“We started Professional Exchange in the first place because we heard the eagerness of our fellows to visit and see how other professional peers work in their places and frameworks.  They want to learn more and they are so curious how different local contexts enriched or influenced art and culture practitioners and their works.  Our first version of the Professional Exchange program was based on in-person work and research placements between a host and a participant.  Once the COVID pandemic came along, we had to adapt. So in 2020, our Professional Exchange participants handled their activities online. Of course it was missing some of the aspects you can only really get in-person, but we were pleasantly surprised by how valuable it still was. I remember when we had some debrief reflection with the participants Tai-jung YU said to me, ”honestly, I was feeling so tired of being online when you suggested we meet online to have some planned and focused exchanges… I wanted to meet and know Tun Tun(supposed to be the visiting participant from Mandalay) so I tried anyway. I was surprised at how valuable and inspiring our online exchange and discussions were.  I knew him, his work and his community better, which made me want to bring those positive experiences forward into this latest version of the program.”

In 2021, MCH sent a short survey (you can read key findings here) to our Fellows network to find out their main priorities in terms of issues they want to work on and the skills they want to learn, as well as the skills they feel they could share with others. We used the feedback from our Fellows to come up with priority topics for the Professional Exchange program in 2022. 

Putting together what we learned from our former Professional Exchange participants, and from our survey to the Fellows, we selected three focus topics:

☑ Topic A: Project development and management of art / cultural projects
☑ Topic B: Workshop design and facilitation of engaging communities into art projects & art making process
☑ Topic C: Ethics in socially-engaged and community-based art projects

Each topic will be explored by one small group, who will bring together their individual experiences to exchange with each other and to draw out some common lessons learnt, and any innovation and advice they believe they can share to others. Participants will engage in 3-5 online gatherings with each other to share their local knowledge, on-the-ground practices and real projects as case studies. The Peer Facilitators will support and guide the conversations. And at the end of the Exchange each group will produce a simple document which will allow the learning to be shared to a wider audience.

The Peer Facilitators that MCH invited to facilitate the exchanges are Fellows who we have worked with closely and know have extensive professional experience in the area of the topic, and are skilled and curious to create dialogue with their peers for mutual learning. They are already looking forward to getting started:

Leadership is about inspiring others to act upon a common goal. The key to success is commitment, openness and willingness to extend ourselves to encounter and know the other.”  This is how Joanne MUN takes from the topic and how she will support the discussions.

If you are interested in joining this program, please click the buttons below to learn more. The program is open to art and culture practitioners from MCH’s priority focus countries: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click here to see the questions and answers.
1. How much experience do I need to be eligible for this program?

Answer: 

If you have never or only run/taken part in one art-social engagement project so far, then your experience might be too little to join this program. However, we don’t have a concrete level of experience you need in order to be eligible. The program provides space for peer-to-peer learning between participants, so we would like to suggest applicants with hands-on experiences that they have some lessons learned, challenges, issues, or tips for success, etc, to bring to exchange and discuss with, at the same time learn from, other participants.

2. I have experience participating in social engagement projects, however I have never been the project host or organiser myself, am I eligible for this program?

Answer: 

You don’t need to be the project host or organiser to participate in this program, but you should be involved enough to have some lessons learned and reflections.

3. Is the program only conducted in English?

Answer: 

Yes, English will be the working language in this program, but you don’t need to speak perfect English in order to join this program. We are aware that most of us are non-English native speakers, as long as you can use English to communicate with other peers, it would be enough.  We also believe it is a shared responsibility to help each other to understand what we express and what we do not understand during the exchange.

4. What does this program mean “non-art people/community”?

Answer: 

It means people without professional training or background of art and culture and their profession/work are not in art and culture.  If you feel unsure if some people you have worked with in real projects and experiences are non-arts people, please contact us. We could have a quick chat.

5. If my projects / practice does not focus on non-art participants but the ‘periphery’ art-community (i.e art practitioners who do not have chance to engage with the bigger art scene or do not have chance to develop their own practice in their area), would I still be eligible to apply for this program?

Answer: 

The exchange in this program will be focused on experiences working with non-art people in artistic or cultural projects, that’s why we also focus on art and culture practitioners who already have related experiences and they want to exchange their experiences and learn from each other.  If you do not have any experience in working with non-art people in artistic and cultural projects, the program’s focus will not be suitable for you this time. Please look for future editions of Professional Exchange program. 

6. If I’m taking part in other programs of MCH, can I still apply for this program?

Answer: 

Yes!

7. If my project is not based in the six focus countries, but aims at the diaspora communities of these countries in foreign lands, is this still in the scope of this program?

Answer: 

The scope of this edition of the Professional Exchange program is projects and activities happening within the region, targeting local communities.  

8. What happens after I send my application?

Answer: 

We will let you know as soon as we receive your application. If you don’t hear from us within two working days, your application might not be delivered well. In such cases, please contact us via another email address (info@mekongculturalhub.org) for investigation requests.


Related News