Asia Theater Journal 2017
NY Times Interview 2012
Productions 2004-2011
Productions 1999-2003
Lectures and Interviews

Rachel Cooper has been at the ASIA SOCIETY since 1993 and is currently the Director for Global Cultural Diplomacy 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.


I’m working on a new series around culture and hope you can join us –either in real time or catch the recording on Asia Society YouTube. The CULTURE MATTERS series part of Asia Society’s new initiative Culture as Diplomacy focuses on the intersection of culture, international understanding and new ideas for a better global world.

September 10, 2020 REAL CHANGE: Sharon Salzberg in Conversation with Anu Gupta

Sharon Salzberg launches her new book, Real Change: Mindfulness to Heal Ourselves and the World, a roadmap for engaging in challenging times. She appears in conversation with Anu Gupta, founder of BE MORE with Anu Gupta. BE MORE uses evidnce-based mindfulness tools to eliminate the influence of unconscious bias in decision making.

August 19, 2020 Bali in the Time of Covid-19: Local Solutions to Global Problems Wednesday

Focused on local responses to the Covid19 crisis and campaign to ban single use plastic bags as part of environmental sustainability movement. These efforts have been organized by the local Balinese NGO Kopernik together with other like-minded groups in Bali. I will be interviewing two activist/cultural workers- Gede Robi Navicula and Ewa Wojkowska.

August 5, 2020 Cambodian Living Arts and the Mekong Cultural Hub

July 5, 2020. Dance Diplomacy with Jonathan Hollander
A Battery Dance TV production with special guests Rachel Cooper and Cynthia Schneider

June 29, 2020. Dr. Larry Brilliant with the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi 
Rachel hosts a conversation between two explorers of human consciousness.

May 7, 2020. A Conversation with Fatima Bhutto 
Rachel speaks with Fatima Bhutto. Fatima Bhutto is a Pakistani writer. Born in Kabul, she is daughter of Murtaza Bhutto, niece of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and granddaughter of former Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

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.

The Shanghai Kunqu Opera performed The Lanke Mountain at the Asia Society on May 18, 2012 and was reviewed for the New York Times.

Renowned Pakistani singer Arif Lohar, performed at the Asia Society on April 27 - 28, 2012 and was interviewed for the New York Times. After the show, a review also appeared in the Times.

A traditional Javanese Wayang Kulit, presented at the Asia Society on March 16, 2012 featured a nontraditional puppet of President Obama, who famously lived part of his childhood in Jakarta. Read the 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."

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.