Arts Sector Receives Growing Support From More Patrons


·         383 recipients, both long term and first time donors, honoured for giving to the arts

·         New initiative to launch in Q1 2020 to grow the arts ecosystem for sustainable future


SINGAPORE, 17 July 2019 – This evening’s Patron of the Arts Awards ceremony and dinner honoured 383 patrons who gave to the arts in 2018 – one of the highest in the history of the Awards. At the annual event organised by the National Arts Council (NAC), Minister for Culture, Community & Youth, Ms Grace Fu, conferred awards to 101 organisations and 282 individuals.


2          Launched in 1983, the Patron of the Arts Awards aims to celebrate the generous contributions of arts patrons who leave their mark on Singapore’s local arts scene in their own way. The 2019 Awards is the 36th edition and recognised contributions made between 1 January and 31 December 2018.


3          During this period, patrons contributed a total of $57.4 million, comprising $32.9 million in cash and $24.5 million in-kind to grow and nurture Singapore’s arts scene. In-kind giving especially, was at an all-time high in 2018, with donors looking to support the arts by providing professional services and partnerships.


4          “We are encouraged by the generous support from many long-standing and new patrons of the arts. Their generosity is an indication that more companies and individuals value the positive impact that the arts bring to our people. We aim to sustain and deepen this commitment of giving to the arts through initiatives such as the Cultural Matching Fund, which provides dollar-for-dollar matching for all private cash donations to the arts and heritage sector. By garnering greater private support and working closely with the arts community, we hope to inspire our people and connect our communities.” said Rosa Daniel, Chief Executive Officer, NAC.


New Initiative to launch in 2020


5          Minister Fu said in her speech at the Awards ceremony that NAC will be working on an initiative that will help arts groups looking to grow philanthropic support. This new initiative will provide short-term support through impactful programmes and by equipping arts groups with the skills to sustain their work and fundraising efforts. NAC will be engaging potential donors and beneficiaries in the development of this initiative, which will be launched in the first quarter of 2020.


6          Danny Yong, Founder of Yong Hon Kong Foundation and CIO and Founder of Dymon Asia Capital shared, “It is truly an honour and privilege for Yong Hon Kong Foundation to contribute $1 million as founding donor to this new initiative that will help build a sustainable future for the arts in Singapore. Art transcends boundaries, enabling us to speak a common language regardless of our background in Singapore. The arts play a vital role in stimulating our creativity, adding colour to our lives in subtle, yet powerful ways. The initiative will enable arts organisations and professionals to hone their craft and flourish, ensuring our arts ecosystem gets the continuity it needs in the years to come.”


All-Round Support for the Arts Through In-Kind Giving


7    This year’s Patron of the Arts Awards recognised many forms of arts philanthropy, including a wide-range of in-kind contributions that led to an almost 70% increase in such contributions in 2018, and strengthened the support network needed to grow a dynamic arts ecosystem.


8    One such example of in-kind giving is the Orchard Turn Developments' ION Art Gallery in ION Orchard mall, which welcomes artists to showcase their works. The mall has also hosted arts and culture exhibitions such as a ceramic art show by Chinese ceramist Zhu Wen. Orchard Turn Development's commitment to showing art in its spaces and to growing accessibility and public appreciation of art will help to build a sustainable arts scene in the years to come.


Recognising Old and New Patrons     


9          The unwavering support of long-term patrons such as United Overseas Bank Limited, a Distinguished Patron of the Arts for 15 consecutive years, and M1, a loyal and dedicated supporter of the arts since 1997, was also recognised. The commitment of these long-term arts champions has played a key role in the sustained development of Singapore’s arts scene.


10        Over 100 organisations and individuals were also honoured as first-time patrons this year, including Mr Tsai Eng Rung who generously supported aspiring artists presenting works at the Singapore Art Week and Dato’ Noor Azman Bin Mohn Nurdin, who gifted an art piece to the Singapore Art Museum. With sustained and growing support in Singapore’s arts sector, arts patronage signifies the importance of cultivating arts appreciation and ensures the continuity of different art forms in Singapore.


11        For the list of 2019 Patron of the Arts Awards recipients, refer to Annex A. For more information on the Patron of the Arts Awards, refer to Annex B, or visit