Tisa Ho, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival
Elected as the Chair of the International Society of the Performing Arts (ISPA)
A first for an arts administrator in Hong Kong

(Hong Kong, 5 February 2018) Tisa Ho, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society Ltd. (HKAF), has been named Chair-Elect of the International Society of the Performing Arts’ (ISPA) Board of Directors at the organisation’s recent Annual General Meeting in January 2018. This is the first time that a Hong Kong arts administrator will be taking up this role.

Following the news of the appointment, Tisa Ho said, “The ISPA embraces members from all sectors of the performing arts across the world. It is a thought leader, managed by a phenomenal team and supported by committees served by global peers that I respect and admire. HKAF has been a member for many years, dating from well before my time. I am immensely indebted to my colleagues at HKAF whose outstanding professionalism has made it possible for me to do this; I too am grateful to the HKAF Chairman and members of the Executive Committee for their encouragement and support. I am humbled and honoured in the role that I have been asked to assume. I will do my best to build on the success of those who have served before me, and proud to represent Hong Kong SAR in doing so.”

Professor Tseng Sun-man, JP, who has held a number of senior arts management positions in Hong Kong, said, “This is great news for Hong Kong and we are proud of Tisa's appointment as the Chairperson of ISPA. The membership of ISPA is worldwide and very few chairpersons have been from Asia. Tisa’s appointment proves that we do have world-class arts administrators in Hong Kong. Currently we are rather concerned about the training of local arts managers. I believe we can learn a lot from Tisa’s career path, background and experience.”

Mr Paul Tam, the chairman of Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association (HKAAA) said, "On behalf of HKAAA, I wholeheartedly congratulate Tisa for her appointment as Chair at ISPA, a prestigious international alliance of artists and arts managers. This also signifies the increasingly important role Asian arts and culture plays in the global arena. I am very proud of her achievement.”

Ms Julia Charlton, President of the International Women’s Forum, has also congratulated Ms Ho on her appointment. “The passion which Tisa brings to her leadership role in the performing arts has long been an inspiration to all those who care about the arts in Hong Kong. We are delighted that Tisa’s new appointment provides further recognition of her talents globally. We are sure the ISPA will go from strength to strength with Tisa at the helm.”

Tisa Ho has been Executive Director of HKAF since 2006. She has increased the organisation’s annual turnover by 50%, and extended the scope of HKAF programming to include large scale and site specific work. HKAF has not only produced and commissioned new works, but also started to publish original scripts from 2009. Some of the productions have subsequently toured outside Hong Kong. As Chair of the Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association, she secured funding to re-establish an office for the organisation, and launched an annual Cultural Leadership Summit, which remains an important event in the Association’s annual calendar. Previous work includes policy and infrastructure planning (including brief development for Singapore’s Esplanade and oversight of government owned venues); marketing and curatorial responsibilities for the Singapore Arts Festival, as well as management of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Victoria Concert Hall (during which she helped to set up the Alliance of Asia-Pacific Region Orchestras and Singapore International Piano Festival, and also oversaw the building of the first Open Air stage on Symphony Lake at the Botanic Gardens).

Ms Ho is currently a member of the Performing Arts Committee of the West Kowloon Cultural District and the Hong Kong Taiwan Cultural Co-operation Committee. She chairs the International Advisory Committee of the Tong Yeong Concert Hall, South Korea; has been a facilitator of the Inaugural Cultural Leaders’ Lab in Singapore and sits on the International Faculty of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy and the Lisbon Consortium, Portugal.

The 46th HKAF in 2018
Featuring over 1,700 outstanding international and local artists in 130 performances and over 300 complementary outreach and education activities, the 46th HKAF runs from 23 February to 25 March 2018. Highlights include: Festival Opening performance - Anna Karenina, choreographed by Christian Spuck and performed by Zurich Ballet; State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov” with conductor Kristjan Järvi and pianist Denis Matsuev; Pas de deux for Toes and Fingers by ballet superstar Svetlana Zakharova and violin virtuoso Vadim Repin; Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande performed by Welsh National Opera; Whipped Cream, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, performed by American Ballet Theatre; Cantonese Opera Farewell My Concubine; two-time Grammy winner Cécile McLorin Salvant and the Aaron Diehl Trio; Festival Closing concert - Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Estonian National Male Choir with conductor Leif Segerstam. On top of numerous fabulous performances, Festival PLUS offers audiences an exciting range of activities that will enhance their Festival experience. Over 90 PLUS programmes will be organised in the forthcoming Festival including ABT Recipe, an Opera Adventure Day by Welsh National Opera and many more.
For more information, please visit: www.hk.artsfestival.org

About ISPA
The International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) is a global network of more than 500 leaders in the performing arts with representation from more than 185 cities and all regions of the globe. ISPA members include facilities, performing arts organisations, artist managers, competitions, funders, consultants and other professionals working in the performing arts. Every year, ISPA holds two Congresses – one in New York and one in a different global city. Members come together with the shared goal of strengthening and developing the arts internationally. ISPA achieves this by building leadership ability, by recognising and discussing field-wide trends and new developments, and by deepening global exchange through the arts. The successful Global Fellowship Program provides access to ISPA's extensive international network of arts professionals to emerging and mid-career leaders from around the globe. Participants join the ISPA membership and attend the New York ISPA Congress where they engage in the development and exchange of ideas with leaders from some of the world's most significant arts organisations, increase their industry knowledge and resources through educational opportunities, and share their experience with their communities. For more information, please visit: www.ispa.org

About HKAF
Launched in 1973, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is a major international arts festival committed to enriching the cultural life of the city. In February and March every year, the Festival presents 1,400 of the world’s top artists and stars of tomorrow in approximately 120 performances, placing equal importance on great traditions and contemporary creations. The Festival also commissions and produces work in theatre, music, chamber opera and contemporary dance by Hong Kong’s own creative talents and emerging artists, many of which have had successful subsequent runs both locally and overseas. The Festival also presents over 300 “PLUS” and educational activities that offer diverse arts experiences to the community as well as tertiary, secondary and primary school students.

Media Enquiries
For media enquiry, please contact Marketing Director Ms Katy Cheng at (852) 2824 3555, or contact
Ms Alexia Chow Direct Line: (852) 2828 4933,
Email: alexia.chow@hkaf.org