Five-year plan charts new directions for the arts in Singapore, supporting the needs and aspirations of the arts community and all Singaporeans

Singapore, 19 October 2018 – Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Grace Fu announced today the key strategies and priorities for developing the future of the arts in Singapore, at the launch of Our SG Arts Plan (2018–2022) at Our Tampines Hub. Our SG Arts Plan details the focus areas for Singapore’s literary, performing and visual arts sectors over the next five years, and serves as the blueprint for policies and initiatives over the next five years that will continue nurturing our nation’s diverse and distinctive arts scene.

 

2          Our SG Arts Plan demonstrates the National Arts Council’s (NAC) commitment, with the support of the Ministry, to shaping the arts sector collectively, guided by the three strategic thrusts of Inspire Our People, Connect Our Communities and Position Singapore Globally.  Through the Plan, NAC will work with our cultural institutions and the larger arts sector as well as other government agencies to champion the creation and appreciation of the arts as an integral part of the lives of all Singaporeans.

 

Creating the Plan with Singaporeans

 

3          The Arts and Culture Strategic Review (ACSR) was launched in 2012 with the vision of “a nation of cultured and gracious people, at home with our heritage, proud of our Singaporean identity.”  Over the last five years since its launch, as published in the Singapore Cultural Statistics 2017, there was a record high of nearly 6,000 non-ticketed performing arts activities in 2016, a five-year record attendance of over 9.2 million at these activities, and over 5.1 million in visitorship figures to museums and heritage institutions. Our SG Arts Plan seeks to build on the strong foundations and achievements of the last five years, while addressing areas where greater focus is needed to achieve the desired outcomes of the ACSR. 

 

4          Our SG Arts Plan was developed in close consultation with the arts community and other stakeholders through more than 40 engagement sessions. From February to September 2018, NAC reached out to over 700 people from diverse backgrounds, including arts practitioners, intermediaries and institutions, educators, volunteers, and representatives from the public and private sectors. Their insights contributed towards the formulation of the draft Plan. Views from the wider public were also sought over a three-week period of public consultation in September 2018.

 

5          Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, said, “Our SG Arts Plan is an important roadmap that will help us navigate the future and raise the profile of our arts community locally and internationally. There is tremendous potential for the arts to bring people together, look past our differences, and project our common identity to the world. The Plan will see us provide better support for our arts professionals and make the arts more accessible to all. Let’s make the arts an integral part of the lives of all Singaporeans.”

 

6          Mrs Rosa Daniel, Chief Executive Officer of NAC, said, “Our SG Arts Plan (2018–2022) is a collective effort that will shape the arts sector’s development over the next five years. I would like to thank all who have given their valuable input to the development of the Plan, and all who have supported the arts over the years. Our SG Arts Plan aims to support arts excellence by building key capabilities within the sector and leveraging digital technology and research. Through coherent efforts working with our cultural institutions and key partners, we seek to collectively enhance opportunities for our artists and arts groups. With more targeted strategies, we also hope to have deeper engagement with existing audiences and to grow new audiences. We want to see the arts making a greater impact, particularly on the lives of families, including young and elderly Singaporeans. We hope we can all work together to champion the arts in Singapore.” 

 

Inspire Our People

 

7          To inspire our people to create and appreciate the arts, we will continue to nurture artistic excellence by supporting our artists to create and present quality works. Our spaces will continue to be well utilised for arts creation and presentation, while ensuring that young emerging talents have equal access to these spaces. The critical focus areas include: building and reaching new audiences, capability development of the arts sector, research and documentation, digital technology, unlocking more art spaces, as well as achieving long-term sustainability.

 

Connect Our Communities 

 

8          The arts have the ability to bridge differences and bring diverse communities together. By offering multicultural arts experiences across various art forms, languages and traditions, we promote inclusivity and accessibility by reaching out to diverse demographics, including under-reached communities, and fostering a stronger sense of belonging among Singaporeans. NAC will also provide support for digital initiatives that seek to engage arts audiences. This include using technology to design arts experiences and to increase accessibility to the arts. Singaporeans will also be encouraged to take greater ownership in

the arts through volunteerism and philanthropy.

 

Position Singapore Globally

 

9          We recognise the importance of strengthening our cultural presence regionally and globally through the work of our leading arts practitioners, who are admired and appreciated by critics and audiences both at home and abroad. To successfully create and present art that articulates our cultural identity, we will tap on digital media as well as research on international perceptions of Singapore arts to help artists target and engage international audiences more effectively. We will also further drive partnerships with overseas counterparts, as well as acclaimed international and regional residency platforms. This will provide opportunities for Singapore artists to gain international exposure, while cementing our role as a valuable partner in arts and culture development in the region.

 

Key Priority Areas of Our SG Arts Plan (2018–2022)

 

10        Guided by the three strategic thrusts, eight priorities will define future arts and culture initiatives:

 

i)      Strengthening NAC’s role in leading and championing the arts in Singapore, working with key cultural institutions, national companies, and the government, private and people sectors;

ii)     Increasing our focus on growing audiences through targeted audience development strategies, based on robust research and data analytics;

iii)   Building diverse capabilities in the arts sector beyond art-making to include arts management, technical theatre, research and data analytics, community arts, audience development, facilitation of dialogues, arts education, working with technology and place-making;

iv)   Increasing sector-wide support for freelance arts professionals to ensure that they have access to resources to enable them to do their best work;  

v)    Utilising digital technology to improve art-making and outreach efforts, and supporting the arts community to be digitally confident and creative;

vi)   Strengthening research in the arts sector to equip both NAC and the arts community with the capacity to gather and analyse data about audiences’ needs and preferences, as well as engage in deep understanding of artistic practice to foster innovation;

vii)  Strengthening programme design to maximise the impact of the arts on society, while harnessing the potential of the arts for community building across cultures, generations and socio-economic backgrounds; and

viii) Taking Singapore’s arts beyond our shores to reach regional and international markets, through strong partnerships with international festivals, presenters, residencies, other arts councils and institutions.

 

11        Our SG Arts Plan (2018–2022) will be reviewed every five years as Singapore’s arts landscape continually evolves, in tandem with domestic and global changes.

 

12        For more information on Our SG Arts Plan and the full details outlined by its eight priority areas and three strategic thrusts, please visit www.nac.gov.sg/OurSGArtsPlan  (available on 19 October).