Arts for All - Community Engagement Plan


Arts for All - Community Engagement Plan


The arts will play an ever stronger role in fostering Singapore’s sense of community and national identity while raising Singapore’s hip quotient as a global arts city, with the launch of the Arts For All – Community Engagement Plan by the National Arts Council (NAC) on 11 October 2008.


Under the third phase of the Renaissance City Plan, the Arts For All Plan aims to bring about deeper engagement and ownership of the arts among Singaporeans. The Plan is also instrumental to sustaining the growth momentum in arts participation in the years to come.


Said Mr Lee Suan Hiang, Chief Executive Officer, NAC, “Today, one in three Singaporeans participate in at least one arts activity a year. This is a vast improvement from the one in 10 a decade ago. The Arts For All Plan will make arts more accessible to all and enable us to reach out to the remaining two in three Singaporeans who have not yet taken the first step towards arts appreciation. Under this Plan, we will also encourage existing arts audiences to take a step further, by engaging in the joy of arts-making and developing a sense of ownership of Singapore’s arts and culture.  Through the wide-ranging activities under the Plan, we hope to cultivate a lifelong interest in the arts and make arts an integral part of the lives of our people, and in the process, contribute to community bonding and the growth of a more gracious society.”


The Arts For All Plan is aimed at broadening and deepening arts engagement by exposing various segments of the population with little or no prior arts experience to the arts, whilst promoting greater engagement in the arts for those who have had exposure to the arts. While it is designed for the community at large, it will adopt a targeted approach to reach out to specific demographic groups, ranging from the youths to senior citizens. A total of $5 million will be channelled to projects under the Plan over the next five years.


The Plan comprises two pillars - ArtReach and ArtLink.


ArtReach is a broad-based programme which aims to increase access to quality arts experiences for the community at large. It encourages the public to go beyond being passive audience to be participative art-makers through quality interactive programmes.


Three initiatives have been lined up. Launched in April 2008, the new Community Participation Grant encourages community groups to initiate their own arts activities. It provides funding to projects which enable members of the community to be involved in the creative process of the projects and work alongside professional artists. Besides artists, the scheme is open to non-profit organisations, non-governmental groups and Community Development Councils (CDCs). Each grant recipient is eligible for up to $50,000worth of funding support a year. To date, the successful applicants include The Necessary Stage, The ARTS FISSION Company, North West CDC and Yayasan Mendaki.


The Arts Community Tours bring performances and exhibitions by professional arts groups to the heartlands, while involving the community through hands-on participation and greater interaction with the artists. Participating arts groups like Singapore Chinese Orchestra and The Finger Players are matched with receiving partners, namely the Community Clubs (CCs) and Resident Committees (RCs). 


Under Arts 101, workshops and master talks by professional artists, including Cultural Medallion and Young Artist Award recipients, will be held to educate and familiarise the populace with the basic skills and knowledge of art forms that have aroused their interest. Some of the participating artists include Iskandar Jalil, Tan Siah Kwee, David Tay and Lim Fei Shen.


The population is not homogenous and each sector has different perceptions, interests, priorities and social conditions.  Under ArtLink, NAC will connect specific sectors of the population with artists through collaboration with partners to integrate arts into public spaces including prisons, hospitals, and workplaces.


In line with the promotion of active ageing, the Silver Arts Programme is targeted at senior citizens. Through partnerships with various grassroots and senior citizens organisations, this programme aims to enrich their lives and foster new found or dormant interests, which may not have been fulfilled given the lack of opportunities or access previously. By encouraging social bonding and the active pursuit of aesthetic interests, the arts could play therapeutic roles that would prove to be beneficial in improving the quality of life for senior citizens.


With Youth Engagement through the Arts (YEA!), the Arts for All Plan hopes to sustain the interest and retain the arts skills learnt by youths during and beyond their school-going years by working with partners such as *Scape, People’s Association and Republic Polytechnic to provide youths with creative platforms such as Noise Singapore, among others.


Another initiative, Artists in Community, aims to promote closer partnerships between artists and the community in creating public arts projects. Partners like Singapore General Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital will be bringing the arts to healthcare workers and patients through regular arts activities that will boost the esteem of and ease distress for patients and staff alike.


Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts will launch the Arts For All Plan on 11 October 2008, 6.30pm at the Kallang Community Club. Some 180 senior citizens will kickstart the Plan with their debut drum performance “Let’s Drum” under the Silver Arts Programme. These participants from Centre for Seniors, Siglap East RC, Kallang CC, Sembawang CC, West Coast CC, Clementi Zone 2 RC and Clementi CC will showcase the drumming skills they have picked up in eight hours of workshops conducted by the OneHeartBeat Percussions. 


Annex – Initiatives under Arts For All Plan