WeCare Arts Fund For The Social Service Sector To Uplift Lives Through The Arts
JOINT NAC-PA MEDIA RELEASE
Voluntary Welfare Organisations and artists can tap on the $1.5 million fund
to kickstart arts activities for beneficiaries
Singapore, 20 May 2014 – The WeCare Arts Fund, a partnership between the National Arts Council (NAC) and the Community Development Councils (CDCs), which are part of the People’s Association (PA) network, was launched today by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong. Over 400 Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) in Singapore will be able to apply for the WeCare Arts Fund, a grant that supports arts projects that are customised to the needs and interests of their beneficiaries. Over the next three years, the Fund is expected to result in some 300 arts programmes, reaching out to at least 2,500 beneficiaries in the social service sector.
2 The WeCare Arts Fund is a new scheme supported under NAC’s ArtReach initiative, which aims to increase arts access and participation in the social service sector. The fund was announced by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth during this year’s Committee of Supply debates.
3 Mr Wong says, “We want all Singaporeans to experience the arts in their everyday lives. The WeCare Arts Fund will bring the arts to VWOs, enabling the people they serve to enjoy art-making, pick up new skills, and find fulfilment in their lives. This is the beauty and the power of the arts, and we hope with greater access to it, more people will be able to enrich their lives through arts and cultural pursuits.”
4 Administered by the CDCs, the WeCare Arts Fund will be disbursed over a three-year period. VWOs can apply for the $1.5 million fund, through their respective CDCs to develop arts activities. Having established a network of community stakeholders and a good understanding of the beneficiaries, the CDCs are well-placed to bring the VWOs and artists/arts groups together to forge strong community bonds.
5 Ms Chua Ai Liang, Director of Arts & Communities, NAC, says, “We hope that through the WeCare Arts Fund, VWOs will have increased opportunities to work with artists to provide meaningful arts programmes for their beneficiaries, who may currently have limited access to the arts due to their social environment. Artists are always looking for ways to connect with people through their work and this Fund will provide an added avenue to support them, and allow them to engage with beneficiaries and volunteers in the social service sector through the arts.”
6 Under the WeCare Arts Fund, each artist-led programme will receive up to $5,000. Artists can work with VWOs to tap on funding for their proposed arts programmes. NAC and CDCs will also help VWOs to match artists who are suitable for their proposed programmes. (Please refer to Annex A for application criteria and process)
7 Dr Amy Khor, Chairman of Mayors' Committee, and Mayor of South West District says, “The CDCs will work with VWOs through the WeCare Arts Fund to enable vulnerable clients of these VWOs, such as the elderly, to participate in arts activities like drumming, visual arts, making flowers using recycled plastic bags. This enables residents of these VWOs to enjoy the arts and uplift their spirits. They can also improve their physical and mental wellness, as well as make new friends as they interact with other residents, volunteers and trainers.”
8 Through this funding, VWOs can explore how the arts can complement the core services that are made available to their beneficiaries, from providing counselling to rehabilitative services. The arts activities are targeted at a diverse range of beneficiaries in the social service sector, from youths to senior citizens, and can encourage self-development, community bonding and appreciation of the arts.
9 Besides the WeCare Arts Fund, other programmes under NAC’s ArtReach initiative include arts toolkits that guide VWOs to conduct basic arts sessions, partnerships with social service organisations, and training programmes to equip the social service sector practitioners and artists to bring the arts to the social service sector. (Please refer to Annex B for more information)