Even as we’re unable to leave the house for leisure, the National Arts Council (NAC) has launched the #SGCultureAnywhere on A-list.sg. #SGCultureAnywhereone positions itself as a one-stop integrated platform that profiles the best of Singapore’s digital arts and culture offerings including livestream performances and recordings, virtual tours of exhibitions, art workshops, and fun arts activities for families.
With the digital platform, not only can Singaporeans access it, but so can anyone and everyone around the world. Working closely with local cultural National Gallery Singapore, The Esplanade, National Museum Singapore, as well as NAC’s Major Companies and Seed Grant Companies, such as The Necessary Stage and Siong Leng Musical Association, #SGCultureAnywhere primarily features digital exhibitions, archival footage of past performances online, and companies presenting online series and digital concerts.
Over the next few months, a large number of digital projects across all art forms will be supported through the new Digitalisation Fund to provide immediate work opportunities for artists and arts organisations. These projects will sustain the arts community with the aim of encouraging artists to use digital technology in their art-making and outreach efforts. One of the first projects that will launch is an online video series titled From the Living Room. The project is produced by Andy Chia (Artistic Director of SAtheCollective), Adrian Chiang (Conductor, President of Band Directors’ Association) and Zhuo Zihao (Dancer, Associate Artist at T.H.E Dance Company), and will comprise 30 episodes of performances by Singaporean artists filmed in their homes, released daily on NAC’s Facebook page for audiences to enjoy.
NAC will also be partnering Zaobao.sg, Viddsee and Sing Lit Station, amongst others as part of the #SGCultureAnywhere campaign. Sing Lit Stations’s #StayHomeStayLit2020, for example, will showcase the best of Singaporean literature through original and existing works by Singaporean writers and artist-designers, and increase access to the genre for fans and new audiences alike.
Says Rosa Daniel, Chief Executive Officer of NAC: “Arts and culture can be experienced anywhere and anytime. With digitalisation, the best of Singapore’s works will be brought to our audiences here and the world through the #SGCultureAnywhere campaign. Through the Digitalisation Fund, artists and arts organisations will have opportunities to leverage technology and digital mediums to make their works more accessible to audiences in these extraordinary times.
“This is a time for everyone to band together, with cultural institutions, artists and Singaporeans all playing an important role in ensuring sustainability of the scene. A stronger digital presence also offers significantly enhanced opportunities to share the best of our arts and culture with international audiences. In the coming months, NAC will work with Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to promote #SGCultureAnywhere in international markets. With the resilient spirit of our arts and culture community, we can together weather the storm and emerge stronger in the recovery phase.”
As part of the Digitalisation Fund, applications for the Digital Presentation Grant for the Arts (DPG) are now open. One of the first DPG projects to be supported is JASS@Home by Jazz Association (Singapore) (JASS). The digital project will be held in celebration of UNESCO International Jazz Day 2020, featuring a series of online concerts and virtual jam sessions helmed by JASS Executive Director and Music Director and Singapore’s “King of Swing” Jeremy Monteiro. Monteiro was honoured with the Cultural Medallion in 2002, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to enrich Singapore’s arts scene.
Jeremy Monteiro shares: “Since the onset of COVID-19, JASS started taking our regular programmes online to continue engaging with our supporters and audiences. It is great that with the support of NAC’s Digital Presentation Grant for the Arts, we can build the experience exponentially and celebrate jazz together on International Jazz Day with our local jazz community and friends from around the world even while apart. Music is important for us especially in these times, as a way of nourishing our souls and uplifting everyone’s spirits.”
But these efforts alone are insufficient to save the arts scene, acting merely as a temporary fix rather than a complete conversion as local artists continue to innovate and find new ways of surviving. While audiences participate in these free activities, they should also be encouraged to donate to each organisation as a means of helping them sustain themselves during this period. To help out with this, NAC has also launched the COVID-19 Rally for Singapore’s Arts to encourage corporations and members of the public to donate to arts organisations directly. Each contribution to the arts is important in fortifying our arts and culture scene especially during these times, and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit A-list and find out more about #SGCultureAnywhere here