Rachel Cooper has been at the Asia Society since 1993 and is the Director for Global Performing Arts and Special Cultural Initiatives. Ms. Cooper develops projects in global arts and culture with a special focus on Asia. She is a cultural arts producer, global arts advocate, performing arts curator, festival director, and cultural diplomat. She passionately believes that knowing about culture is critical to understanding the world we share, whether one works in policy, business, diplomacy, social services or creativity. She works to further a goal of global competency that includes a literacy and appreciation of the arts, whether in traditional, contemporary or popular media-- music, theater, dance, film, literature, poetry. She has presented over 500 performances with some of the finest artists in the world.
IN THE NEWS
December 27, 2012. In end-of-year lists that include Jay-Z and the Rolling Stones, Arif Lohar's April performance at Asia Society rates a mention from the NYTimes' Jon Pareles.
September 20, 2012. Rachel is interviewed in the Washington Post Express talking about Nan Jombang, one of Indonesia's leading contemporary dance troupes and their American tour.
August 4, 2012. Rachel is the subject of an article in the New York Times.Atlantic magazine article!
In November 2011, Rachel was in Mumbai directing the NEW VOICES workshops, in which Asia Society India Centre awarded Fellowships to six emerging screenwriters.
Rachel was honored with an award August 9, 2011 at the Fourth Annual Iftar Dinner, a celebration of Ramadan that brings together leading members of New York's Muslim community. She was recognized for her efforts in creating understanding between the U.S. and Muslims in Asia through the arts. Among her many efforts towards that goal, Cooper directs Asia Society's Creative Voices of Islam in Asia, , a "multi-disciplinary, multi-year initiative that seeks to increase understanding and appreciation of the diversity of creative voices within contemporary Muslim societies in Asia."BRIEFLY
Ms. Cooper did her undergraduate and graduate work at UCLA in Ethnic Arts and Dance Ethnology. She lived in Indonesia for six years from 1983-89. She was awarded the 2006 Dawson Award for sustained achievement in performing arts programmatic excellence from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), an 'Izzy' (Isadora Duncan) award for the Festival of Indonesia, a Rockefeller grant for choreography, and the Clifton F. Webb award for film. Ms. Cooper is an advisor for the National Dance Project and the co-chair of the Arts Presenters annual conference for 2005 and 2006.
Ms. Cooper is the co-founder, former director, current board president of the San Francisco-based Balinese music and dance company, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, which has been presenting the arts of Bali in the United States since 1979.