The Asia Society is the leading global and pan-Asian organization whose mission is to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States. It was founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller III, the third-generation member of the Rockefeller family.
The Society's New York headquarters exhibits the Rockefeller Collection of Asian Art which includes some of the most important masterpieces of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Korean, Tibetan, Nepalese, Cambodian and Indonesian art in existence.
The Society aims to prepare Asians and Americans for a shared future by increasing knowledge and enhancing dialog, encouraging creative expression, and generating new ideas across the fields of policy, business, education, arts and culture. It reaches audiences around the world through its headquarters in New York City, along with a Center on US-China Relations, and regional centers in Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Hong Kong, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, Seoul and Shanghai.
A nonprofit and nonpartisan educational organization, the Society provides a forum for building awareness of the more than thirty countries broadly defined as the Asia-Pacific region - the area from Japan to Iran, and from Central Asia to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. It also has a fellows program which supports full-time resident fellows at the Society with the mission to shape public understanding of social and political developments in Asia.
Through art exhibitions and performances, films, lectures, seminars and conferences, publications and media assistance, and materials and programs for students and teachers, the Asia Society is a global educational organization dedicated to increasing the understanding of the culture, history, and contemporary affairs of Asia. It also co-sponsors the US-Asia Update Roundtable Series at New York's Council on Foreign Relations.
Exhibits change several times throughout the year. A recent example has been An Enduring Legacy: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, featuring significant sculptures, paintings, ceramics, prints and bronzes from the Society's own holdings.
The Society maintains that international studies should be a new basic for all students in the world. In its efforts to bring this about, it has joined up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to work with urban school districts to create small, international studies secondary schools.
Asia Society's Education department has two primary education objectives: one focusing on teaching and learning about Asia in the United States and the other on the expansion of U.S. investments in international studies at the elementary and secondary school levels.
The American International Group (AIG) was the major sponsor of the Society's 50th anniversary in 2006. The Society is also supported by contributions from foundations, including both the family's Rockefeller Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and major corporations. Prominent individuals also support its activities, such as the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Henry Kissinger, Rupert Murdoch and Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (the founder's son), and his son Charles, who are both trustees of the Society.
Mark Rockefeller (the youngest son of Nelson) and his wife Renee are vice chairmen of the Gala Committee of the Society. The Society's New York Museum is located at 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street). The chairman of the executive committee is former US Ambassador and long-time associate of the Rockefeller family, Richard Holbrooke; its president is Vishakha N. Desai, who also sits on the board of the Brookings Institution.
Annual Dinner Gala Committee:
Some major sponsors:
Some major contributors:
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