Speakers Biographies

International Arts Education Week

Symposium- 23 May 2012



Larry O’Farrell (Canada)

Larry O'Farrell

Larry O' Farrell is Professor and holder of the UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning, Faculty of Education, Queen's University, Canada. Larry served two terms as President of the International Drama/Theatre and Education Association (IDEA). He is currently Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Network for Arts and Learning and a member of the advisory board of the World Alliance for Arts Education (WAAE). As a member of the international advisory committee and General Rapporteur for the 2nd UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education (Seoul, Korea, 2010) he was instrumental in preparing The Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education. His research includes participation in international studies on creativity in drama/theatre and arts education, singing, and monitoring the Seoul Agenda. Larry is Honorary Professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. In 2011 he received the Campton Bell Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education.

Robert McLaren (South Africa)

Robert McLaren

Robert McLaren (aka Robert Mshengu Kavanagh) is an arts educator, practitioner and writer in South Africa, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. Educated in Cape Town, Oxford (Rhodes Scholar) and Leeds. Co-founded/chaired university Theatre Arts Departments at Addis Ababa and Zimbabwe. Co-founded influential South African theatre organisation, Workshop ’71 (1971-6), and Zimbabwean arts education trust, CHIPAWO, in 1989, of which he was Executive Director up to 2010. Currently Director of CHIPAWO World. Chairman ASSITEJ Zimbabwe (1996-9). His involvement in arts education ranges from university theatre arts departments to early childhood arts education, from music, dance and drama with children in disadvantaged rural and urban areas to professional youth theatre.

Robert McLaren was an invited speaker to the Second World Conference on Arts Education and works for the implementation of the Seoul Agenda in the African context by proposing an action plan which stresses the key exigencies of advocacy, research and active involvement of the informal sector.

Ralph Buck (New Zealand)

Ralph Buck

Associate Professor Ralph Buck is Head of Dance Studies, National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, The University of Auckland. His research and teaching focus on dance education curriculum, dance pedagogy and community dance. Ralph is currently the elected Chair, Executive Council, World Alliance for Arts Education; Chair, Education and Training Networks, World Dance Alliance: Dance advisor, UNESCO International Advisory Committee, Second World Conference on Arts Education. Ralph’s teaching and leadership has been recognised by The University of Auckland Distinguished Teaching Award, 2008; Faculty Award for Leadership, 2010; and, the 2006 Excellence Award for Equal Opportunities. His research in Dance education is published in international journals and he has delivered invited key note addresses and Master classes in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, Columbia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Mohammed Al-Amri (Oman)

Mohammed Amri

Mohammed Al-Amri is assistant professor of Art Education at Sultan Qaboos University. His research interests are in the art curriculum, programme evaluation, art criticism and creative thinking. He is a co-author of a book titled "The Plastic Art in Oman" (The Arabic League Educational Culture and Scientific Organization) and has also written articles in Arabic and English such as "Multidiscipline-Based Art Education Model: A possible way for improving the quality of teaching Art, 2011 (IJAS).

He is an associate editor of the International Journal of the Arts in Society (University of Illinois) as well as editorial board of International Journal of Research in Education, and International Journal of Research in Linguistics and Lexicography, Academic Research Society (ACADRES). As a member of UNESCO’s International Advisory Committee for Arts Education and a working member of the Road Map for Arts Education he has revised the Arabic version of the Seoul Agenda.

Simone Dudt (Germany)

Simone Dudt

Simone Dudt is currently Secretary General of the European Music Council. She studied cultural sciences in Hildesheim, Germany and Marseille, France focusing on Fine Arts and Music. She worked for the educational programmes of several museums and music schools, as academic assistant at the University of Hildesheim and as an assistant at the regional music council in Hannover. She has been working for the European Music Council since 2004, where she co-ordinated the EU funded “ExTra! Exchange Traditions” project from 2006 to 2009 and in particular the “Music in Motion. Diversity and Dialogue in Europe” publication that EMC published together with Bernd Clausen, Ursula Hemetek and Eva Saether. Simone is executive editor of the EMC’s “Sounds in Europe” magazine which provides an overview on diverse music topics and cultural policy in Europe. In 2010, she was elected to the Board of Culture Action Europe, a European umbrella organisation that advocates for culture at the EU institutions

Wilma Kuiperi – Jansen (Aruba)

Wilma Kuiperi

She is co-founder and current President of the Aruba International Arts Foundation (AIAF), a member of the Latin American & Caribbean Arts Presenters Organisation (La Red) and co-founder of the Caribbean Arts Presenters Organisation (Caribnet).

She has implemented Dance Pedagogy and advocated Arts Education for over twenty years in the teachers’ training curriculum at the Aruba Pedagogical Institute where she heads the Arts Education Faculty. Her teachings embrace the Seoul Agenda Goals for Arts Education development, and her students study arts education curricula while on international internship. She has lately been instrumental in implementing the Arts Education Year 2011 – 2012.

Wilma Kuiperi-Jansen’s foundation presents professional world-class dance performances combined with educational programs for schools on a national level

Mrs. Kuiperi-Jansen’s foundation presents professional world-class dance performances combined with educational programs for schools on a national level.

Samuel Leong (Australia, China)

Wilma Kuiperi

Professor Leong is Associate Dean (Quality Assurance & Enhancement) of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Head of the Department of Cultural and Creative Arts at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. He is also the Director of the UNESCO Arts in Education Observatory for Research in Local Cultures and Creativity in Education and Director of Research of the International Drama/Theatre Education Association. His professional work spanned education, performance, broadcasting, business and administration, including interdisciplinary research collaborations and co-directing the Australian National Review of School Music Education (2004-2005). He has been awarded competitive grants from the Australian Research Council, Hong Kong Research Grants Council and Arts Development Council of Hong Kong and has given invited presentations at the World Learning Conference, WAAE Arts Education Summit, World Creativity Summit, convened the Interdisciplinary and Creative Arts Education Summit and co-organized the International Polylogue on Arts Education World Summit.

Emily Achieng' Akuno (Kenya)

Emily Achieng Akuno

Currently Director of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Industries at the Kenya Polytechnic University College, Nairobi, Kenya, Emily Achieng' Akuno has taught postgraduate and undergraduate courses in musicology, performance and music education for various East African universities.

She is: past chairperson of the Kenya Music and Cultural Festival, the Kenya Music Festival and the Academic Board of the Kenya National Theatre Drama School; past member of the Kenya Cultural Centre Governing Council, the East and Central African Division of Seventh Day Adventist Churches Music Committee; current member of the Association of Music Educators of East Africa - AMEEA; Pan-African Society for Musical Arts Education – PASMAE and a Board member of the International Society for Music Education – ISME, where she is a commissioner with the Music in School and Teacher Education Commission – MISTEC.


Zahia Ziouani (Algeria/France)

Emily Achieng Akuno


Zahia Ziouani grew up in Seine Saint-Denis and studied viola and guitar the Conservatoire of Pantin. She is the artistic director the Symphony Orchestra Divertimento which was created in 1998 with talented young persons. In 2007, she was appointed first invited conductor of the National Algerian Orchestra and associate conductor of the “Ensemble Instrumental Densités 93”. She also conducted several orchestras in France, Tunisia, Algeria, Poland and Mexico including the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Arab youth community.

Since 2005, she has been Director of the municipal school of music and dance in Stains. Through the Festival “Classiqu’à Stains”, Zahia increases public awareness on classical and lyrical music. In 2012, she has created “L’orchestre Diver’cités” which main objective is to allow children (7-12 years old from disadvantaged districts) learn and practice a musical instrument. She aims at creating bridges between France and Algeria particularly through her programme “Algérie-France Une Symphonique pour 2012”, between Paris and its outskirts, between classical music and popular environments



Maria Gloriosa Santos-Cabangon (Philippines)

Maria Gloriosa Santos-Cabangon

PETA Executive Director since 1993. Maria Gloriosa Santos-Cabangon (Beng) led the establishment of the PETA Theater Center, envisioned to be a dynamic center for the arts in the Philippines and Asia. An artist-teacher, designed numerous programs and written journals on culture and arts. A specialist in trainers’ training for theater-in-education and arts management. Most recent works are as program evaluator of the PETA Mekong Partnership Program and as editor- writer-project manager of the PETA History Book. Was instrumental in expanding PETA’s work throughout the Philippines as NCR coordinator for its Support-Organizing and Linkages Program and director for its Partnership and Liaison Program. Represents PETA in various national, Asian, and international networks. Beng was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Drama/Theater and Education Association (IDEA) from 1993-1998. She is a University of the Philippines graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Economics and currently a candidate of Master in Education - Curriculum Studies.

Elise Longuet (France)

Maria Gloriosa Santos-Cabangon

Elise Longuet is administrator of the foundation Culture & Diversity, Foundation created by Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, president of Fimalac, company where Elise Longuet also coordinates corporate philanthropy.

The foundation involves 12,000 middle- and high-school students, 19 partners and currently includes 21 ongoing programs. Furthemore, Elise Longuet is in charge of establishing partnerships and corporate philanthropy projects in cultural and social domains with entities such as the Louvre Museum, the Rond-Point Theater, the TV production company Elemiah, the organization Humans Rights Watch, and the Fine Arts Academy of France.

Elise Longuet serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors and member of the Audit Committee of AFM, the agency in charge of the future Abu Dhabi Louvre museum. She also serves as General Delegate for the Friends of the Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Association. Elise Longuet has been a member of the Paris Bar for several years. She is a graduate of the Institute of Political Studies of Paris and has a postgraduate legal qualification (CAPA).


Itziar Rubio (Spain)

Itziar Rubio

Itziar Rubio is a specialist in cultural cooperation and has major experience in working with indigenous people and youth. She worked in Latin America and Africa with several international organizations like UNESCO, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation / AECID and some other NGOs that work on creative education through different artistic disciplines, particularly music and audiovisual media like the cultural organization Biluts (Spain), Promenor Foundation (Brazil) and the International Relations and Peace Research Institute (IRIPAZ). At the moment, Itziar is sitting on the board of NGO Musicians without borders where she is responsible for carrying out the cultural strategy for AECID’s development in the Cultural Center Park of Spain in Rosario (Argentina). Itziar has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Deusto (Spain) and from the Management French School Audencia (France); she also has a master’s degree in international development cooperation.

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