Singapore, 15 September 2020 – The Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) Arts For Good (A4G) Projects programme received close to 140 applications from 25 countries in its inaugural open call to support arts-based initiatives, connecting Singaporeans and the global communities creatively for social good. The open call took place from 14 May to 7 June 2020, and almost a fifth of the applications were collaborations between alumni from the SIF’s A4G Fellowship.
Five projects were selected and awarded up to S$20,000 in funding each. Collectively, the projects are expected to positively impact over 37,000 people globally, particularly in Singapore, Southeast Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, India, and Scotland.
A brief overview on the projects and country representations follows:
- In a New Light (Singapore, Scotland and Bangladesh collaboration)
An online performance in collaboration with underprivileged children and youth from the three countries, presenting their collective views on the global climate crisis in a performance film.
- World Wisdom Map (India)
An interactive digital “wisdom map” featuring life lessons and stories from each country in the world with a spotlight on Singapore, to build connections and cross-cultural understanding globally.
- SAME-SAME (Singapore and Australia collaboration)
An inclusive online dance and theatre production, highlighting the similarities between differently abled performers in Singapore and Australia during COVID-19.
- ArtSEA (Singapore and United States of America collaboration)
A digital arts resource package and online arts education community featuring local Southeast Asian artforms, to increase underprivileged children and youths’ access to the arts.
- Legends of the SEA (Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and The Philippines collaboration)
A digital art activity book exploring art practices and processes, to enhance arts education in the region.
More information on each project and the A4G Fellowship can be found in the Appendix.
Ms Jean Tan, Executive Director of the SIF, said: “In 2016, SIF launched Arts for Good to grow a community of practice that harnesses the transformative power of arts and culture to create positive social change. COVID-19 may have disrupted our progress and adversely impacted the arts and culture scene here and abroad, but SIF stands in solidarity with our community. We are ramping up our Arts for Good Projects to help support our arts practitioners and their arts-based collaborations that build a better world.”
Mr Jeffrey Tan, an independent theatre director, drama educator and creative producer in Singapore and project lead for SAME-SAME said: “COVID-19 has been unprecedented in how it has affected lives, including the arts and culture scene globally. The Arts for Good Projects and the SIF’s Arts for Good ecosystem provides an important source of support in this challenging period, enabling artists to continue pursuing creative collaborations while contributing to uplifting world communities.”
Echoing Jeffrey’s thoughts, Ms Fiona Ferguson, Creative Development Director of Imaginate, Scotland and project lead for In a New Light, shared: “Connecting children and artists across borders forms the foundation of In a New Light, and the support from the SIF enables the project to take on a cross-cultural approach led by three experienced international artists. Through their Arts for Good Fellowship in 2018, I met my fellow collaborators Renee Chua and Salma Jamal Moushum from Singapore and Bangladesh and I am absolutely delighted to be able to work with them on this project."
“We are very happy to be selected as an A4G Project, and hope to take this opportunity to celebrate diverse voices of children, to share their ideas and hopes through performance making,” Fiona added.
Beyond the A4G Projects, the SIF’s efforts in bringing artists and society together on meaningful arts initiatives are also exemplified through its partnership and support on other projects, including:
- Arts & Disability Forum (ADF) (2020): Returning on 7, 8 and 9 October 2020, ADF2020, with a focus on “Cultivating Collaborations, Increasing Access” will spotlight discussions on bridging authentic collaborations and harnessing access for people with disabilities as a creative asset. The SIF is the programme partner for ADF2020, which is jointly organised by Very Special Arts Singapore and the National Arts Council Singapore, with support from British Council. Register here.
- Gift A Song (2020): In bringing communities together for a better world amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Gift A Song is a collaborative project between the SIF and Singaporean artistes who were engaged to record song dedications from home to uplift spirits globally. A total of 88 song dedications were made to 16 countries, reaching over 1.3 million people.
- Stay Home Quilt (2020): Supported by the SIF, Stay Home Quilt seeks to bring solidarity in solitude through the collective action of sewing and reflecting. Individuals and communities from around the world were invited to submit their quilt patches to the project. Submitted quilt patches submitted will be stitched together and displayed at Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre (Singapore), as well as digitally.