Timed to coincide with the school holidays, Arts in Your Neighbourhood (AYN) March 2020 will focus on the vibrant neighbourhood of Bukit Panjang. It is organised by the National Arts Council and will take place over three weekends from 12 to 29 March. As the arts have the ability to lift spirits and unite communities in challenging times, this edition of AYN encourages Singaporeans to get some fresh air and enjoy the arts with friends and families.
This year’s AYN March features 40 family-friendly events and close to half of them are inspired by Bukit Panjang – its landscape as well as stories of the town and its people. These include recorded sounds from residents crafted into podcasts, as well as site-specific performances, which foster a greater sense of community and belonging through the arts.
AYN’s programmes will take place in eight locations around Bukit Panjang, including lesser-known spots in the neighbourhood such as the Pang Sua Pond and Bukit Panjang Khek Community Guild Building. With some of the activities taking place at unconventional locations, residents and the wider public are encouraged to rediscover Bukit Panjang through the arts and form shared memories and social bonds rooted in their neighbourhood.
AYN’s diverse line-up of multi-genre and multi-cultural arts experiences aims to attract new arts audiences and caters to people of different ages and backgrounds. These programmes range from a theatrical dance performance on a travelling bus, to a multi-ethnic music concert and even an illustration competition-cum-exhibition involving youths from underserved communities. This edition of AYN will also include literary-related events held in conjunction with the #BuySingLit movement to celebrate Singapore’s literature. The line-up includes an experiential floral installation inspired by SingLit texts and a book fair with a focus on SingLit children’s books.
Highlights of this edition include Java Dance Theatre’s Back of the Bus, where you’ll go on a bus ride like no other with both local dancers and Java Dance Theatre’s artists, as they dance on the bus, in the show’s Singapore debut following sell-out sessions at over 17 arts festivals around the world, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Curated by ZERO, The Outer Space is a street art programme that will feature murals and site-specific street art installations created in collaboration with residents of Bukit Panjang.
Shophouse & Co’s Podscape allows for members of the public to contribute personal stories with friends and families at this pop-up recording and broadcasting booth. The recorded stories of residents will be overlaid with soundscapes from the neighbourhood and released as podcast episodes.
Band of Doodlers has organised Character Clash, where you can cheer on budding artists and illustration enthusiasts as they battle it out in a live drawing competition and exhibition. Youth participants are mentored by established illustrators and given the opportunity to showcase their character design skills.
With AYN March 2020, take a chance on Bukit Panjang, and travel to the Western end of the Downtown Line to discover an entire neighbourhood of arts waiting for you.
Arts In Your Neighbourhood runs from 12th to 29th March 2020 around Bukit Panjang. Admission is free for all activities, except a nominal fee for Back of the Bus. For a full list of programmes, visit their website here