The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Asia Society
Asia Society

725 Park Avenue at 70th Street NY, NY 10021
Phone: +1 (212) 288 6400
Fax: +1 (212) 517 8315
Arts Organization of the Month Arts Organization of the Month
Asia Society 
  Founded in 1956 by John Rockefeller III with the aim of promoting mutual understanding between the peoples of Asia and the United States, the Asia Society is a non-profit organization. The Society has its headquarters in New York and branch offices in San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila, Mumbai and Melbourne. As the Society celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006, expansions and improvements were made in the headquarters and branch offices. Operating budget comes from the Society’s endowment and donations form corporations and private contributors. At present (2007) the largest donator with a contribution of over one million dollars is Citi Group, which also helps build connections with the financial and government sectors and the arts and educational fields in the U.S. and Asia. Funding for performing arts programs comes primarily from the Doris Duke Foundation, the Helen & Will Little Endowment for Performing Arts and the arts councils of the major cities nationwide.

  The Asia Society engages in a wide variety of programs, including strong efforts in culture and the arts. In these programs the culture of over 30 Asian countries is introduced through art exhibitions, performances of the performing arts, film, talks and seminars, publications, and websites, as well as media support and programs offering materials to students and instructors.

  With the increasing interrelationship between culture and economic factors, there is an increasing concern in the Society’s programs for the shared social issues between the United States and the countries of Asia. For example, the issues relating to the effects of globalization that are increasingly the subject of concern, such as human rights issues and health issues such as AIDS. In the field of performing arts, the majority of the programs center around dance, performance and music performances in the contexts of religion, tradition and contemporary ethnic problems. In addition to stage performances, video and film works, symposiums and lectures on the related themes are also held along with Asian arts archive type events organized in tie-ups with educational organizations.
  Also, in the Asia Society’s New York headquarters there is Asia Society Museum with a collection of about 280 works of Asian and Asian American art collected by Mr. and Mrs. John Rockefeller III and a Museum Shop. Part of the collection is always on display there and can also be accessed from the Society’s website at
  Among the Society’s programs involving Japan, many are the Japanese sections of cross-sectional type programs on universal Asian themes like Buddhism and masks. But in recent years there have also been active efforts to present contemporary Japanese culture, such as a solo exhibition of the works on Okinawa-born, New York-based artist Yuken Teruya (Spring 2007), performances of a collaborative work Mourning by the New York-based butoh duo Eiko & Koma and a group of young Cambodian performers (Jan. 2006, supported by the Japan Foundation) and a concert by the Tsugaru shamisen artist Shinichi Kinoshita titled “Hogaku: New Sounds of Japan” (Jan. 2006, in collaboration with the Japan Foundation).
  Once a year there is a large-scale gala at which the Asia Society’s supporters and representatives of supporting organizations and corporations gather from around the world and awards are presented to politicians, people in the arts and culture (including artists) and the financial world who have made significant contributions to friendship between America and Asia. The next gala will be held on Nov. 11, 2008.