Lecturer, Arts Management
- MA Arts Administration, Columbia University, New York, USA
- BA Communications, University of Amherst, MA, USA
Sunitha Janamohanan has worked in the arts since 1999 with a portfolio that covers a range of art forms and creative industries, from visual and performing arts to literature and film, design, animation, music and heritage.
She has been a curator in the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, arts manager and head of programmes for the British Council Malaysia, Education and Outreach Manager for George Town World Heritage Inc., in Penang, and, prior to moving to Singapore, she was the manager of a multipurpose art space called MAPKL in Kuala Lumpur.
In 2018 she participated in a UNESCO workshop for experts from the Asia-Pacific region on the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Expressions of Cultural Diversity, and in 2019 conducted a study on the financial environment for the cultural and creative industries in the Southeast Asian sub-region for the UNESCO office in Bangkok.
She has been a member of the Heritage Advisory Panel for the National Heritage Board of Singapore for two terms (2018–2019, 2020–2021), serving on a sub-committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage. In this capacity she has also served on the evaluation panel for the inaugural Stewards of Singapore’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Award Scheme in 2020 and in its second year, 2021.
At LASALLE she is the coordinator of ANCER, the Asia-Pacific Network of Cultural Education and Research, and has been the convenor of two ANCER Labs and the ANCER 2020 conference.
In 2013 she was the researcher for a project to document community-based Arts & Culture Workers in Malaysia initiated by the Penang-based NGO Arts-ED, which led to the founding of a fledgling network of community engaged arts practitioners in the Southeast and East Asian region. She continues to research community engaged arts and social practice, speaking and moderating in regional forums.
Sunitha’s research interests also include local arts management models in Southeast Asia. She is also interested in the intersections of social practice, labour, organisational behaviour and cultural leadership.
Professional Practice/Research Output
- Janamohanan, Sunitha, et al.. Backstage: Managing creativity and the arts in South-East Asia. Bangkok, UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization, 2021, ISBN / ISSN: 978-92-3-100443-8. https://bangkok.unesco.org/content/publication-backstage-managing-creativity-and-arts-south-east-asia
- Janamohanan, Sunitha. "Community Museums as Alternative Narratives to National Heritage: The Serdang Folk Museum and the Performance of Heritage” Chapter in the book Sites, Histories, Identities: Making Heritage in Malaysia, edited by Sharmani P. Gabriel and published by Palgrave Macmillan in February 2020. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-15-1494-4_3
- Janamohanan, Sunitha. ''Managing Cultural Activism: A Case Study of Buku Jalanan of Malaysia.'' The Routledge Companion to Arts Management, edited by William Byrnes, and Aleksandar Brkić, Abingdon, Routledge , 2019, pp. 234-248, doi: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351030861.
- “To Biennale or Not To Biennale”, ArtsEquator.com (February 23, 2017)
- 2015: Manager of MAPKL, conceptualised and led a programme of arts and social activism titled ArtAct!, of which a component is an anchor exhibition, Picturing Change: Visual Culture and the Art of Advocacy, that was co-presented with the Malaysia Design Archive
- 2014: Co-curator of the exhibition The Good Malaysian Woman: Ethnicity, Religion, Politics, jointly presented by Interpr8 Arts Space and women’s advocacy group, the All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
- Community and socially engaged arts practice
- Local arts management models in Southeast Asia
- The intersections of social practice, labour, organisational behaviour, and cultural leadership.