Asian Cultural Council

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Asian Cultural Council
ACC Stacked RGB.jpg
ACC Eastern world and US.svg
Geographic purview of the ACC
Formation1980 (1963 - 1979 as Asian Cultural Program of the JDR 3rd Fund)
Type501(c)(3) Non-profit
PurposeCultural exchange
HeadquartersNew York City
Region served
USA and Asia
Official language
Wendy O'Neill

The Asian Cultural Council (ACC) (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Yàzhōu Wénhuà Xiéhuì; Cantonese Yale: Ajāu Màhnfa Hipwúi; Japanese: アジアン・カルチュラル・カウンシル; Korean: 아시아 문화 협회) is an American non-profit organization dedicated to promoting cultural exchange between the United States and Asia.


The Asian Cultural Council (ACC) is a nonprofit organization that awards grants to individuals and institutions to support work that fosters exchange between Asia and the US. ACC also funds regional travel within Asia. ACC fellowships to individuals include not only cash grants to cover the costs of international travel, per diem expenses, and research activity, but also substantial program support, which may take the form of professional guidance, introductions to artists and other cultural leaders, and extensive logistical assistance. Grant recipients have access to a broad network in Asia and the United States, and ACC maintains active relationships with alumni grantees long past their fellowship terms.

Created in 1963 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, ACC's grant program is today funded by endowment income and by annual contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations with an interest in promoting inter-cultural dialogue, and respect.[1]

The Asian Cultural Council has representation in New York, Hong Kong (since 1987),[2] Manila (since 2000),[3] Taipei (since 1995)[4] and Tokyo (since 1983).[5]


The Asian Cultural Council supports international dialogue, understanding, and respect through cultural exchange and nurtures the individual talents of artists and scholars in Asia and the United States. Asian Cultural Council grants are open to citizens and permanent residents of the United States or citizens and permanent residents of the countries of Asia, from Afghanistan eastward through Japan and Indonesia.

ACC's geographic areas of interest are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and United States of America.

Grants are made to artists, administrators, professionals and scholars in the following fields, including both traditional and contemporary arts: anthropology; archaeology; architecture (design, theory, and history); art history; arts administration; conservation; crafts; dance; design (not commercial); film, video, & photography; literature (Japan-U.S. Arts Program only); multiple disciplines, museum studies; music; theater, and visual art.

John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award[edit]

The ACC presents the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award to an individual from Asia or the United States who has made a significant contribution to the international understanding, practice, or study of the visual or performing arts of Asia. This award for outstanding professional achievement commemorates the deep and long standing interest of John D. Rockefeller 3rd in Asian art and culture and given to individuals active in their field.

Past awardees[edit]

  • 1970: Richard Bartholomew, New Delhi, India
  • 1986: John M. Rosenfield, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of Fine Arts, Harvard University
  • 1987: José Maceda, Chairman, Department of Music, Research College of Music, University of the Philippines
  • 1988: James R. Brandon, Professor, Department of Drama and Theatre, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
  • 1990: Sherman E. Lee, Former Director, The Cleveland Museum of Art
  • 1991: Chou Wen-chung, Director, Center for U.S.-China Arts Exchange, Columbia University
  • 1992: Kapila Vatsyayan, Director, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi
  • 1993: Donald Richie, Film critic and writer, Tokyo
  • 1995: Setsu Asakura, Stage designer, Tokyo
  • 1996: Ma Chengyuan, Director, Shanghai Museum
  • 1997: Beate Gordon, Arts consultant and writer, New York
  • 1998: Nguyen Van Huy, Director, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi
  • 1999: Proeung Chhieng, Dean, Faculty of Choreographic Arts, Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh
  • 2000: Ellen Stewart, Founder and Artistic Director, La MaMa Experimental Theater Club, New York
  • 2002: Yang Meiqi, Founder, Guangdong Modern Dance Company, Guangzhou
  • 2003: Judy Mitoma, Director, Center for Intercultural Performance, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 2005: Mella Jaarsma, Nindityo Adipurnomo, Founders, Cemeti Art House, Yogyakarta
  • 2006: Lin Hwai-min, Artistic Director, Cloud Gate Dance Theater, Taipei
  • 2007: Nestor O. Jardin, President, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila
  • 2008: Ratan Thiyam, Founder and Director, Chorus Repertory Theatre, Manipur
  • 2010: Samina Quraeshi, Writer, Artist, Designer, Shepard/Quraeshi Associates, Inc., Boston
  • 2013: Amna Kusumo, Director, Yayasan Kelola, Jakarta
  • 2013: Pichet Klunchun, Choreographer and Dancer, Phichet Klunchun Dance Company, Thailand
  • 2013: Chinary Ung, Composer, Composers Institute in Asia; University of California, San Diego
  • 2015: Duk-Hyung Yoo, President, Seoul Institute of the Arts, Seoul

Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Award[edit]

The Asian Cultural Council established the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Award in 2009 in honor of John D. Rockefeller 3rd’s wife, who served as the ACC’s first chair and who shared her husband's passion for the arts and cultures of Asia. The award recognizes individuals who believe in ACC's mission of supporting the arts by bringing together creative people through the unique channel of cultural exchange and have made an outstanding contribution to international cultural exchange.

Past awardees[edit]