To 2022 And Beyond: National Arts Council Unveils 5 Year Plan To Develop Local Arts Scene

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On 19th October 2018, the National Arts Council (NAC) officially unveiled Our SG Arts Plan (2018 – 2022), a five year plan that charted the proposed direction in which to develop the local arts scene, as the council continues to support the needs and aspirations of the arts community and all Singaporeans. Announced by Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Grace Fu at Our Tampines Hub, Our SG Arts Plan will serve as a blueprint for the various policies and initiatives to be developed by the council.

The plan is essentially guided by the three strategic thrusts of Inspire Our People, Connect Our Communities and Position Singapore Globally, which will come to fruition as the NAC collaborates with local cultural institutions and other government agencies in continuing to help arts become a key part of all Singaporean lives.

Previously, 2012 saw the launch of the Arts and Culture Strategic Review (ACSR), visualising “a nation of cultured and gracious people, at home with our heritage, proud of our Singaporean identity.” Five years later, it was recorded that 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 visitor numbers to museums and heritage institutions. The Plan then seeks to build on the precedents set by the ACSR, while also filling in the gaps that may have been overlooked.

The Plan was developed not only by NAC, but together with the arts community and other stakeholders through more than 40 engagement sessions, having reached out to over 700 arts practitioners, intermediaries and institutions, educators, volunteers, and representatives over a period of eight months, along with views from the wider public during a three-week period of public consultation in September.

Says Mrs Rosa Daniel, Chief Executive Officer of NAC: “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.”

Looking at the three thrusts in detail, the Plan essentially hopes to bridge the perceived gaps between people and the arts, encouraging increased production and attendance. In the first thrust, Inspire Our People, the plan aims to nurture artists through reaching new audiences, developing capability in the arts, ‘unlocking’ more arts spaces, and maintaining long-term sustainability. In the second, Connect Our Communities, the Plan focuses on multicultural arts experiences to promote inclusivity and accessibility, alongside fostering the use of new digital initiatives for greater engagement. The final thrust, Position Singapore Globally, sees the plan hoping to improve our cultural presence on an international scale to market to and engage international audiences, increasing partnerships with overseas counterparts, and greater residency opportunities to improve our exposure.

Through these thrusts, a total of eight priorities will be at the forefront of the plan, used to achieve each thrust accordingly. The Plan will also be reviewed every five years as Singapore’s arts landscape continually evolves, in tandem with domestic and global changes.

Says Ms Grace Fu: “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.”

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

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