Distinguished Achievement Award – Lindsey McAlister, OBE, JP
The Distinguished Achievement Award is presented to Lindsey McAlister in recognition of her commitment to the development of youth arts in Hong Kong, particularly in creating original works and dance film series that encourage young people to address social issues that impact them through their bodies and the arts.
McAlister has dedicated her life and passion to giving Hong Kong youth access to the arts. Originally from the UK, where she worked for the Arts Council of Great Britain and the Gulbenkian Foundation, she moved to Hong Kong in the late 1980s. In 1993, she founded the Hong Kong Youth Arts Festival (currently named as Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation), providing the city’s young people with opportunities to participate free of charge in dance, drama, music and the visual arts—opportunities that many of them had never had before.
In 1997, she was commissioned by the International Chamber of Commerce – Hong Kong to create an original work for the Hong Kong handover celebrations event. She has produced popular musicals like West Side Story, Fame, Footloose and Spring Awakening. Each year, she creates at least one major theatrical performance in Hong Kong and has toured bilingual works and exhibitions abroad, including to the Edinburgh Festival.
McAlister is a recipient of numerous honours, including an OBE in the New Years Honours List for services to UK arts in Hong Kong. In 2014, she was appointed to become a Justice of the Peace (JP). Her accomplishments transcend the field of youth art from all cultures and backgrounds as a whole, helping young people see, create and contribute to a greater vision of themselves, each other, and the places they call home.