Welcome Remarks by Ms Anita Fam, SIF Governor, at the Launch of the Arts & Disability Forum 2016
Ms Kathy Lai, CEO, National Arts Council
Ms Katelijn Verstraete, Director Arts & Creative Industries East Asia, British Council Singapore
Ms Suenne Megan Tan, Director, Education & Programmes, National Gallery Singapore
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good morning! I am delighted to be here today at the launch of the Arts & Disability Forum 2016 surrounded by like-minded collaborators and friends.
The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) makes friends for a better world, and the work that we do reflects our aim in bringing world communities together to do good. That is why, together with National Arts Council and British Council Singapore, the SIF is proud to support this meaningful collaboration that bridges the arts and disability sectors through cross-cultural exchanges between Singapore and the United Kingdom (UK). This project is very close to our hearts as it resonates with SIF’s belief that arts and culture can help foster inclusive communities, promote sustainable urban living and enable livelihood.
The Arts & Disability Forum is, in fact, part of SIF’s new Arts for Good initiative launched in March. Arts for Good centres on harnessing the power of the arts and culture in connecting Singaporeans and world communities to strengthen mutual understanding and effect positive social impact. In addition to this Forum, we have several initiatives lined up over the next few months which are designed to leverage the arts for good. For example, in The Kupang Project, Singapore art veterans partner Roslin Orphanage in Kupang, Indonesia to develop a creative education programme. The artistic collaboration will see kids stage a musical at the Ciputra Theatre in September to raise funds for the orphanage. More importantly, the arts programme would have helped instill new confidence in the youth to change the lives of the abandoned children. You may have seen this project featured on Mediacorp’s On the Red Dot programme, Friends for a Better World.
In today’s launch, we will similarly harness the power of the arts to shape an inclusive and compassionate society. We have arts practitioners from both Singapore and the UK to share their insights and explore the potential of the arts in the disability sector. Other multi-sectorial groups – from policy-makers to social welfare organisations – will also be sharing their professional views during the dialogue. I am personally looking forward to moderating the roundtable and listening to your ideas in the session themed “Visioning Arts and Disability in Singapore: Policy, Access and Awareness”.
Indeed Singapore has been working hard to build a more inclusive society where persons with disabilities can participate fully. As the Chairman of the Enabling Masterplan 3 Steering Committee, I am heartened by the Arts & Disability Forumwhich supports this aspiration. May I take this opportunity to thank our partners – the National Arts Council and British Council Singapore - and friends from the arts and disability sectors. Without all your efforts, this project would not have been possible. Our collaboration symbolises the power of what friends can do when they get together - something that drives what we do at the SIF. I am certain that this three-day Forum will empower our communities to connect, collaborate and effect positive change in the spheres of arts and disability in Singapore and beyond.
Thank you for journeying with us in our vision to build a better world – one that is peaceful, inclusive and offers opportunities for all. I wish you a fruitful sharing of perspectives and a pleasant day ahead.
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