28 July 2015, Singapore – 18 outstanding individuals were awarded the National Arts Council (NAC) and National Heritage Board (NHB) Scholarships today by the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Communications and Information, Mr Lawrence Wong. The scholarships aim to nurture promising individuals who have the potential to drive the future development of the arts and culture sector in Singapore.




2            NAC has committed close to $1.7m to support the artistic pursuits of 16 scholarship recipients under the Council’s talent development blueprint for the arts sector. As Singapore’s arts scene flourish, it is critical to nurture a robust pipeline of individuals with the specialised knowledge and expertise across all art domains and roles to strengthen and sustain the ecosystem. NHB’s two scholarship recipients, identified for their passion towards the growth, preservation and celebration of Singapore’s heritage scene, will receive about $0.4m from NHB to further their interest, knowledge and expertise in their respective fields.




3            Ms Kathy Lai, Chief Executive Officer, NAC says, “The creative industries inspire the country with their ideas. In today’s knowledge driven economies, the creative sector is often one of the lead thinkers of future trends.  Our scholarship programme will nurture passionate and committed individuals who have the potential to play a leading role in the advancement of Singapore’s future.”




4            Mrs Rosa Daniel, Chief Executive Officer, NHB, says, “The development of capabilities in our people is a priority for NHB. For Singapore’s arts and heritage scene to enjoy sustained growth, we must commit to nurturing the talents of our heritage professionals, both present and future. They have taken the very admirable step of dedicating their careers to the arts, culture and heritage, and we need to support and equip them with the right skills and knowledge to further their growth and development. The next chapter of the Singapore story is theirs to tell, and I look forward to their contributions.”




5            The NAC scholarships will support the study of a wide variety of arts and arts related disciplines. It is also designed to rejuvenate and infuse new talents in critical areas like traditional arts practices, theatre production and music production.




6            One such recipient is Mr Tan Sen Cai, 22. He will be pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at the acclaimed Taipei National University of the Arts, which only accepts two international students annually. Says Sen Cai, “I’m delighted to be receiving the scholarship to pursue dance in Taipei. I’ve been dancing in most of T.H.E Second Company repertories, and have had the honour of representing Singapore as a youth dancer at several dance festivals including those in Korea and Macau. I hope to create and showcase unique works to the audiences in Singapore and beyond.”




7            Award-winning Guzheng player, Ms Yvonne Tay, 23, will be pursuing a Bachelor of Music with Honours at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). “I believe that traditional arts play an important role in preserving Singapore’s culture and heritage. I hope that with my experience of being both a soloist and a chamber musician, I would be able to bring diversity to the Chinese music scene in Singapore,” says Yvonne.  




8            Mr Ting Si Hao, 24, who is embarking on a Master in Scoring for Film & Visual Media at Pulse College adds, “I am happy to be given the opportunity to further explore the areas of music for film and visual media. I look forward to gaining deeper knowledge in the discipline, which will help me to reflect and improve on my works. Eventually, I want to set up a Singapore-based multi-suite music and audio production studio that provides high quality music and audio services to the global media industry.”




9            NHB Scholarship recipient Ms Sim Wan Hui, 48, who is applying to pursue Master of Arts and Cultural Management, shares, “It is an honour to receive this scholarship. Having built up my experience in both the arts and heritage sectors, I am excited about this opportunity to further my knowledge in cultural management and deepen my understanding of how cultural policies can influence societal values and trends.”




10          Ms Miriam Yeo Sze En, 19, says, “Reading English Literature at the University of Cambridge may not be the traditional route for a heritage scholar. However, my exposure to literature has made me see the value it can bring in enhancing the understanding and presentation of heritage. I look forward to contributing towards heritage education, where I can play a part in enriching how Singapore’s historical and cultural narrative is presented, so as to cultivate a love for heritage among Singaporeans. We’re a young nation, but we have stories to share, stories that keep us rooted and fuel our love for this island nation that we call home. I hope to be able to articulate this in accessible and relatable ways when I embark on my role in NHB.”




11          Please refer to ANNEX A for the full list of NAC and NHB Scholarship Recipients.