Welcome Remarks by Ms Euleen Goh, SIF Chairman, at the Inaugural SIF Connects! Washington DC

Ambassador Ashok Mirpuri and Gouri,
Friends,

Good evening, and welcome to the inaugural SIF Connects! Washington DC. I am delighted to be amongst SIF programme alumni and friends of Singapore, here at this celebration of culture as a bridge in connecting communities.

Singaporeans and Americans enjoy a special friendship. This is rooted in personal connections, relationships and the shared belief in working for a better world.

The Singapore International Foundation is an independent non-governmental organisation with a mission to bring world communities together to do good, as many of you would know. Together with our friends and partners – local and international - we strive to uplift and enrich lives through programmes in environment, education, healthcare, arts and culture, as well as business and livelihood.

Since our inception in 1991, we have shared insights into Singapore and encouraged dialogue between the Singaporean community and distinguished visitors from the US including Mr Jim Leape, director general of WWF International, and most recently Mr Jim Leach, former chairman of the National Endowment for Humanities.

To promote a deeper understanding of Singapore and the region, and build closer ties between policy-makers and professionals, we have organised 28 editions of visits to Singapore by staffers of congressmen/congresswomen, and worked with the East-West Center for more than a decade to share with American media professionals insights into aspects of Singapore society, urban challenges and policy-making imperatives. In 2011, we inked a Memorandum of Understanding with Ashoka Foundation which was founded by the pioneer of social entrepreneurship, Mr Bill Drayton, to promote exchanges and partnerships to foster social innovation for positive change.

I am delighted to be in Washington DC and to have the opportunity to showcase facets of multicultural Singapore through the lens of celebrated contemporary artists from our arts and culture scene. And through their performance and works, we hope you would gain an appreciation of Singapore or relive your Singapore experience.

Thank you Ambassador Ashok and Mrs Mirpuri, and your team for your enduring support of our work.

Maya Dance Theatre, a homegrown dance company, draws their inspiration from Asian traditions and aesthetics and is dedicated to international collaborations. Path, which they will perform for us later this evening, displays its unique brand of Asian contemporary dance, splicing traditional Indian Bharatanatyam (pronounced “bah-rah-thah-nah-tiam) with contemporary dance. Kavita, Imran and their team have just flown in from New York having presented Path at the American Dance Guild Festival.

You may already have seen Gregory and Angie’s collaborative pieces around the room. Through this series, Portals and Passages, they explored points of convergence and divergence found in their journey between their base Singapore and distant lands.

For the first time, they have combined photography and painting in their work, and you are among the first to view these ten new works in the series. Gregory is American and Angie is Singaporean – picture perfect, you may say.

Finally, to satisfy your sense of taste, we have arranged for some Singaporean delights such as satay and rendang for you to relive your experience of Singapore, and also share it with friends whom you have invited here.

Tonight is about reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, an activity very close to our hearts!

Thank you and I wish you a pleasant evening.

 

 

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