Last call to join the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan online forum on openness and inclusivity, 28 January

Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, situated in the Ueno Park district of the Japanese capital, is one of the oldest public concert venues in Japan.

In 2021, this iconic venue commemorated its 60th anniversary. Over the past seven years, the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan has actively collaborated with cultural institutions and arts organisations in Japan and abroad to develop and implement a wide range of education and outreach programmes, such as the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Music Workshop.

Drawing on their experience and network, the venue management has launched a virtual forum to discuss the role and diversity of cultural institutions in “the age of the 100-year life”. Joined by arts organisations from around the world, the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan will reflect on the experiences of the coronavirus pandemic and ask why culture and the arts should be accessible to all, and why cultural institutions and arts organisations should remain more inclusive and open.

The virtual forum aims to ask “what have we, as cultural institutions and arts organisations, learned and gained in a time of Covid?”. The global outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease , which began in February 2020, has affected both lifestyles and values, and has forced many venues and arts organisations to suspend their activities, and it has also forced all of us to change our way of creating and experiencing the arts.

We therefore will take a look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cultural institutions and arts organisations, focusing on examples from Europe, and consider the social mission of arts and culture that emerged during the pandemic.

Tokyo Bunka Kaikan 60th Anniversary Forum revolves around the theme “Towards more accessible cultural institutions—community, diversity, and COVID” and takes place on Friday, 28 January 2022 at 18:00 UTC+09

To join the forum, which is being hosted on Zoom, visit

Entry is FREE, and the 500 places are allotted on a first-come, first-served basis.

The agenda is as follows:

 1. Opening

2. Keynote Speech: “Trends and future of the European cultural sector in a time of COVID” from Barbara Gessler (Head of unit at Creative Europe, European Commission, European Union)

3. Case Study: “Connecting to the Arts in a Time of COVID” from Jillian Barker (Director of Learning and Participation, the Royal Opera House)

 4. Open Discussion: “What we lost and gained over the COVID-19 pandemic—Future visions of arts institutions” with panelists: Jorge Prendas (Head of Education, Casa da Música), Kaji Naoko (Director of Planning and Production Division, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan) and others. Moderator: Yuasa Manami (Regional Arts Director, East Asia, British Council)

5. Closing

The forum is organised by: Tokyo Metropolitan Government/Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture: Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Arts Council Tokyo with the co-operation of the British Council/RESEO European Network for Opera, Music and Dance Education and supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Government of Japan.

More information on Tokyo Bunka Kaika at: