A Cultural Impact Project | Researching Asia Topa 2016
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About the Project

Asia TOPA: A Cultural Impact Project investigates the impact of Melbourne’s inaugural Asia TOPA festival on the Victorian arts sector, participating organisations and audiences. Arts Centre Melbourne, on behalf of a consortium of thirteen leading Victorian cultural institutions, and the Australia Council have partnered with Deakin researchers to identify and analyse evidence of the value of Asia TOPA in its inaugural year – economically, socially and culturally.


Read about our research into Cultural Leadership, Philanthropic Leadership and Sector and Audience Development, and check out our News section for latest updates.

About Asia TOPA

AsiaTOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts was an artistic celebration of our connection to contemporary Asia in 2017.

In the words of Asia TOPA Consortium member Arts Centre Melbourne,

‘Vital, fresh and always unpredictable, Asia TOPA offers a city-wide window onto the creative imaginations fuelling the many cultures of our region.

Cultural engagement is key to expressing who we are, where we’ve come from, and how we connect with each other across the Asia-Pacific region. The dazzling array of artists featured in Asia TOPA will provide new ways of understanding the deep connections that run between us all.

This unprecedented program is brought together by some of Victoria’s top cultural institutions including:

  • Arts Centre Melbourne
  • Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)
  • Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
  • Chunky Move
  • Federation Square
  • Malthouse Theatre
  • Melbourne Recital Centre (MRC)
  • Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO)
  • Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC)
  • Museum Victoria
  • National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
  • State Library Victoria (SLV)
  • The Australian Ballet (TAB)
  • Victorian College of the Arts (VCA)

The inaugural event also engages a host of international and national collaborators and Program Partners. Local Partners include: City of Melbourne, Next Wave Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival, Arts House, Footscray Community Arts Centre, Bluebottle, Tipping Point, Dancehouse, Ilbijerri, Chamber Made, Performing Lines, Multicultural Arts Victoria, Asialink, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, University of Melbourne, Deakin University, Polyglot and MPavilion, among others.

Asia TOPA will bridge diverse artforms including performance, visual, screen and literary arts. If English is not your first language there are a multitude of non-verbal works for you to consider.’

Check out the Flip Book to revisit the events. 

Balabala, by EkosDance Company at Arts Centre Melbourne for Asia TOPA. Photo credit: Mark Gambino
Balabala, by EkosDance Company at Arts Centre Melbourne for Asia TOPA. Photo credit: Mark Gambino
The project takes a cross-disciplinary approach consisting of three modules that address different levels of impact of Asia TOPA:
Cultural Leadership

The Cultural Leadership module will analyse and test the achievements of the Asia TOPA consortium and partners to deliver innovative models of arts, audience, development and business relationships.

Philanthropic Leadership

The Philanthropic Leadership module will identify the symbolic and economic value of philanthropy in advancement, using the Sidney Myer Fund’s financial contribution to the Asia TOPA consortium as a case study.

Sector and Audience Development

The Sector and Audience Development module will evaluate the capacity of Asia TOPA to develop and build new audiences and develop the capacity of the Victorian arts sector to undertake Asian- Australian programming.

Processes and Outcomes

Each module addresses different research questions and uses differing methodologies, but with overarching questions that unite the models.

The research documents processes and outcomes for key Asia TOPA stakeholders, measures impact, identifies factors that contribute to success and key learnings for future delivery. Resulting recommendations will build capacity for Australia’s cultural sector to engage with Asia, and invite new forms of investment with partners aligned to interests in Asia.


This research project has been supported by Arts Centre Melbourne on behalf of the Asia TOPA consortium, the Australia Council, The City of Melbourne and Deakin University Centre for Sustainable and Responsible Organisations (CSaRO)

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