Partner South East Asia was a series of online forums by the British Council providing participants with a better understanding and knowledge of the arts and culture ecosystems of SEA countries. 

The theme ‘Arts for Change’ reflect the trend of young Thai artists and creative professionals, as well as networks, pushing the boundaries of their work to instigate social change. 

The briefing covered three topics:  

  • The government’s policies and strategic direction on arts.  
  • The role creative and cultural districts play in bringing sustainable and positive change to cities, districts and local creative economies. 
  • Arts as an agent for social change.  


  • Adulaya Hoontrakul, Independent Curator, Thailand
  • Prof Joyce Yee, Lecturer, University of Northumbria, UK


  • Wayla Amatathammachad, Founder, Loei Art Fes, Thailand
  • Sirasar Boonma, Co-Founder, Hear & Found, Thailand
  • Nathanich Chaidee, Co-Founder, Ari Around, Thailand
  • Prasop Riangngoen, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Thailand
  • Dr Jaray Suwannachart, Co-Founder, Songkhla Heritage Trust, Thailand
  • Kawita Vatanajyangkur, Artist, Thailand
  • Martin Venzky-Stalling, Committee Member, Creative Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Pichit Virankabutra, Deputy Director, Creative Economy Agency, Thailand

Highlights in Thailand:

  • This briefing provided an overview of the arts, culture and creative economy sector in Thailand by looking at current cultural and creative economy policies.  
  • It also explored the role of creative cities and creative districts in building social impact. 
  • The panel discussion spoke about how artists connect their work to the public and communities to become more inclusive and effect change for the society. 
  • The Ministry of Culture of Thailand acts as a custodian, developer and promoter of Thai culture. It also creates commercial value for Thailand’s cultural products. 
  • The Creative Economy Agency (CEA) develops and promotes creative people, creative districts and creative businesses using innovation and creativity to improve Thai creative economy in general. 
  • Grassroot initiatives create social impact in cities because they have local knowledge, networks, and are more in tune with the creative gaps in the community, so they can relate better to the local people.
  • Centralised governance is a challenge for local organisations to get funding or free control of their collaborations.
  • Art is a medium that can bring awareness to national and global issues, and empower marginalised communities to sustain their culture while earning income from it.