Sustained Arts Patronage In Economic Downturn



Sustained Arts Patronage In Economic Downturn


2009 Patron of the Arts Awards 

Corporate donors and individuals continued to give to the arts in spite of the economic downturn in 2008. For their contributions, 128 sponsors will be honoured at an awards dinner officiated by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, on 26 November 2009.


The recipients comprise 19 Distinguished Patrons, 9 Patrons, 52 Friends and 48 Associates of the Arts. There are 21 new sponsors across all the categories. In total, 120 organisations and eight individuals contributed a generous $30.5 million to the arts in 2008.


Sustained support from arts patrons ensured the continued vibrancy of the arts scene in 2008, which had 29,000 arts activities to inspire and bring respite to the people amid the economic gloom. With the strong backing of sponsors, not only were arts activities able to come to fruition, they were also able to reach out to new arts audiences.


For example, steady backing from the Hong Leong Foundation, Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Shaw Foundation enabled the organisation of arts festivals by the National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University and Republic Polytechnic. These community arts festivals made the arts accessible to their neighbouring communities. Support from Jet Airways (India) also provided for the first-ever Kids Biennale and the involvement of over 40,000 students in an early introduction to contemporary art at the Singapore Biennale 2008.


Patrons’ generosity facilitated the development of artistic talent through scholarships, bursaries, grants and awards. These include Keppel Music Scholarships for the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, NAC-Takashimaya Scholarship, and donations from the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation to the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Scholarships.  Sponsors like Cerebos Pacific, HSBC and Manulife Singapore also reached out to underprivileged children under The Business Times Budding Artists Fund.


Distinguished Patron of the Arts Award (19 recipients)

This year, the Distinguished Patron category welcomes three first-time recipients. Ngee Ann Kongsi contributed to the establishment of the SOTA-Ngee Ann Kongsi Scholarship and Bursary Awards. SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd (Radio 100.3) supported DramaBox and and SMRT Corporation Limited donated to the Young People’s Performing Arts Ensemble.


Other long time Distinguished Patrons include the Singapore Press Holdings, OCBC Bank, NTUC Income Insurance Cooperative, Lee Foundation and Shaw Foundation.


Patron of the Arts Award (9 recipients)

Siemens and Neptune Orient Line (NOL) are receiving their first Patron of the Arts awards this year. NOL sponsored six projects and arts groups including the Soorya Festival of Indian Dance & Music and Singapore Repertory Theatre.  Siemens is a regular sponsor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.


Friend of the Arts Award (52 recipients)

The seven first-time donors in this category are Barclays Wealth Singapore, Bloomberg, Club 21, Jet Airways, Tan Chay Bing Scholarship Fund, Agnes Tan Kim Lwi and Wong Fong Fui.  They sponsored major festivals such as the Singapore Biennale 2008 and Dan:s Festival, as well as the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.


Other regular Friends of the Arts include City Developments Limited, ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, Kwan Imm Thong Hood Cho Temple, Raffles City Shopping Centre and Wing Tai Holdings Limited.


Associate of the Arts Award (48 recipients)

This category boasts the largest number of homegrown enterprises which are first-time arts sponsors. They are Agility Fairs & Events, SBS Transit Ltd, Stamford Land Corporation Ltd, Thai Village Holdings Ltd and Union Steel Holdings Ltd. Their beneficiaries include Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Singapore Lyric Opera, and the Sun Festival.


Other first-time corporate recipients include Epicentre Pte Ltd, New Creation Church, Otis Elevator Company (S) Pte Ltd, and RZB-Austria Singapore Branch who donated to NAC, NUS Centre for the Arts, The Esplanade and The Arts House respectively.


For more information, please refer to:


Annex A: List of 2009 Award recipients


Annex B: Information on Patron of the Arts Awards