Aigerim Kapar

Artcom, founder, Nur-Sultan 

Kapar curates and organizes exhibitions, urban art interventions, discussions, lectures, and workshops. To accomplish such wide-ranging initiatives she often collaborates closely with art and educational institutions, as well as scientific apparatuses. In 2015, she founded the creative communication platform Artcom in conjunction with the local art community. The platform brings together different cultural figures to share experiences and discover channels for greater interaction within society in order to develop and promote contemporary art and culture. In 2017, Aigerim initiated the Art Collider informal school—when art meets science. Through this initiative artists and scientists jointly conduct research and present lectures and discussions related to current issues. The results of the school are presented through exhibitions, publications, and audio-visual materials.

Aiman Mussakhajayeva

Kazakh National University of Arts, Rector, Nur-Sultan

Aiman Mussakhajayeva - an outstanding violinist, People's Artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan, rector of the Kazakh National University of Arts, Professor, prominent public figure.  She studied at a violin from 6 years at the Republican music school named after K. Bayseitova in Professor N.M. Patrusheva’s class. She graduated with honors out of the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory from the class of Professor Valeriy Klimov. In 2002 the name of Aiman Mussakhajayeva was entered in the list of World Honorary IВС “2000 Outstanding Musicians of the 20th century”, and also in the Encyclopedic Dictionary of the University of Cambridge “Outstanding musicians of the 20th century” (2002), the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge awarded the honorary title “International Musician of 2003”. 


Aizhan Bekkulova

Union of Artisans of Kazakhstan, Chairman, Almaty 

I was born in Almaty in 1954. I am currently the Chairman of Union of Artisans of Kazakhstan, NGO, based in Almaty, Kazakhstan and Vice-president of World Craft Council/APR/Central Asia, the member of Union of Artist of Kazakhstan. I awarded of Seal of Excellent of UNESKO in 2010 and 2016. I have a honorary status of Ministry of Culture of Kazakhstan «Мәдениет  саласының  үздігі», Finalist of Artisan Enterprise Multimedia Competition (USA), International Craft Award ”Craft Icon of the Year 2017” and numerous of price different domestic and International competition. I am also an expert and member of National Committee of Intangible Heritage of Republic of Kazakhstan.


Alexander Aksyutits

Salem Social Media, General Director, Nur-Sultan 

Alexander began to work as a reporter and news editor at the Southern Capital – Almaty, 31 Channel and Khabar TV channels. He was in the presidential press pool for eight years.  Alexander was among those who launched the 24kz TV channel, Kazakhstan’s first round-the-clock news outlet (now Khabar 24), and headed it for three years. He worked at the Presidential Executive Office and managed the press service of the Nur Otan party. A year ago, Alexander headed Salem Social Media, a new Kazakhstani company that creates and promotes videos in popular social media and on video hosting platforms. Today, Salem releases over 500 videos a month that collect 65 million views on average. The company has become a leader in this sphere in Central Asia.

Anastasia Tarassova

"ARTиШОК" Theatre, Managing Director, Almaty 

Winner of the Ak-Mergen PR Project Competition (Best Business Communications Project) with the project titled How to Make a Small Theatre a Real Landmark in the City.

A large-scale crowdfunding campaign to construct the Big Scene for the Artishock Theatre.

Winner of the Ak-Mergen PR Project Competition (Best Business Communications Project) with the project titled Theatre Builds Theatre, or How Artishock Built its Big Scene over Six Months.

Participant in the Theatertreffen International Forum.

Curator of the Laboratory for Young Directors from Central Asia, the Ilkhom Theatre of Mark Weil, Tashkent, School of Theatre Leaders, Moscow.

Producer of the Theatre as a Profession educational project, with courses for lighting technicians and theatre managers, and for actors and directors.

Producer of the POST DRAMA WEEKEND Festival.


Anna Suvorova

Transforma Cultural Space, Director, Almaty 

Transforma is a multifunctional space and production centre in Almaty aiming to support and promote contemporary art for active citizens. Transforma is a floor for independent theatres, contemporary Kazakhstani and world’s drama, poetry, contemporary dance, as well as indie and electronic music. Over two years of operation, Transforma supported 90 new creative projects that were staged and presented at it for more than 260 times. 


Armiyash Nurmagambetova

Center for Entrepreneurship CACTLE (Central Asian Center for Teaching, Training and Entrepreneurship) of the L. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Head, Nur-Sultan 

She has over 10 years of experience in the small business sector. She teachs entrepreneurship and business administration, business planning, adviser to startup projects. She is business trainer, provides training to university teachers, corporate trainings for companies. She is an expert at the Austrian Quality Assurance Agency (AQ Austria). She completed scientific internships at St Jons University in New York (USA) and Oxford Brookes University (UK), studied at Vienna University of Economics and Business (Austria). She has experience as a coordinator Projects of Erasmus + funded by the EU (2015-2018), as a coordinator of a project programme Creative Spark funded by the British Council (2018-2020), holder of a grant for the Erasmus + mobility program (2017-2018)


Assel Yeszhanova

Urban Forum Kazakhstan, co-founder, Almaty 

Assel earlier worked for Aedas Architects, an international company, headed Atomik Architecture’s office in Almaty, and designed projects in the UK, Europe, Canada, and the Near East. She also curated exhibitions and art projects on a host of topics, from Stalin’s repressions to skateboarding youth’s subculture and illegal migrant workers. Her initiative to bring together Almatians in order to discuss the city’s challenges at a conference in November 2015 grew into Urban Forum Kazakhstan – an institution which operates beyond a single city and unites experts, active citizens, researchers, artists, and the business community on a single platform intended to promote continuous dialogue about the future of Kazakhstan’s cities.

Bakytzhan Pazylkhair

Culture and Sports Department of Nur-Sultan, Deputy head, Nur-Sultan

Bakytzhan Pazylkhair was born on 19 March 1989 in Kyzylorda (Kazakhstan). He graduated from Narikbayev Kazakh Humanitarian and Legal University in 2010 and obtained his Master of Laws degree in 2012. At present, Bakytzhan is a deputy head of the Culture and Sports Department of Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan).

Dana Shayakhmet

Narxoz University, researcher, Almaty 

Dana coordinates international projects at Narxoz University, including the one to develop creative entrepreneurship under the Creative Spark initiative. She is a researcher and activist in the area of creative economy, urban development, and youth policies. In 2012, Dana founded the TOBE Social and Cultural Development Fund to promote civil activity among Kazakhstan’s young people by means of workshops, social projects, and research. In May 2018, she co-authored the mapping of creative industries of Kazakhstan. She’s also a coordinator of the Creative Almaty Forum and monthly Creative Almaty Days. At present, Dana is completing her PhD studies in public and local governance, in particular the relations between the state, business and civil society in managing creative industries. She’s interested in developing partnerships to study creative industries in Central Asia.