by Maria Sunantha Quibilan/Asianjournal.com
Cultural Center of the Philippines President Nestor O. Jardin is the recipient of the 2008 John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award for outstanding professional achievement in the field of Asian art and culture.
The $30,000 award is presented yearly by the trustees of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) to an individual from Asia or the United States who “has made a significant contribution to the international understanding, practice, or study of the visual or performing arts of Asia.”
Jardin, who has been the CCP president since 2001 and was its vice president and artistic director before that, was cited for being “a cultural leader of rare energy, commitment, and vision who has set an extraordinary example both regionally and internationally.”
A veritable leader and educator in his field, Jardin has “devoted his extensive career to championing the arts and artists of Southeast Asia and the Philippines and working to create an environment in which these can flourish.”
A graduate of the University of the Philippines with a BS degree in Zoology, Jardin began his career in the arts as a dancer with the Filipiniana Dance Troupe and as a soloist with Ballet Philippines. He is a recipient of several grants and scholarships, which include the Goethe Institute Grant, the Asian Cultural Council Grant for Arts Administration, and the US International Visitors Program Grant. He is as well the creator of the Philippine Cultural Education Plan, a comprehensive national plan for arts and culture education.
Jardin is the second Filipino to win the JDR 3rd Award. In 1987, it was given to National Artist for Music Jose Maceda.
Funding for the award is derived from an endowment gift from the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Fund given to the ACC. Established in 1980 as a continuation of the Asian Cultural Program of The JDR 3rd Fund created by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller 3rd in 1963, the ACC has provided grant assistance to more than 4,000 Asians and Americans in the arts.
Nominations for the award must be made by artists, scholars, and others professionally involved in Asian art and culture. Various specialists in the nominees’ fields and other qualified individuals who have firsthand knowledge of the nominees’ professional activities and accomplishments are consulted, after which the council selects the recipients.
The award will be presented to Jardin during the ACC-Philippines gala to be held on February 29 at the Makati Shangri-la. Doing the honors will be chairman of the ACC board, Elizabeth McCormack. She will be joined by ACC trustees Josie Cruz Natori and Sir Kenneth Fung, ACC director Ralph Samuelson, and granddaughter of JDR 3rd Wendy Wang.