Artists for a Better World: Singapore Study Visit

The Artists for a Better World (ABW) programme seeks to grow the Arts for Good ecosystem, which harnesses the power of the arts and culture to create positive social change. This year’s inaugural edition brought together 29 participants from 13 nationalities across sectors, including artists, arts administrators and programmers from social welfare organisations, to explore how the arts can create positive social change for people with disabilities.

Over the four-day study visit, participants explored the capacity and skills needed to create an arts programme for social impact, as well as connect with an international ecosystem of individuals from various sectors who are keen on harnessing the arts for social change.

This project is part of the SIF’s Arts for Good initiative, which seeks to promote awareness of social issues, share best practices and enable action for positive social impact through the arts.

As part of a night tour of Geylang led by social enterprise Geylang Adventures, ABW participants had a glimpse into the socio-economic, cultural and historical stories of Singapore, emphasising the importance of depth in supporting and collaborating with a community.
(Far right) Dr Goh Wei Leong, Founder of Health Serve sharing about the plight of migrant workers and how his clinic helps them with affordable healthcare support.
(Standing) Caroline Essame, Art and Occupational Therapist and Managing Director of Create CATT conducting a session on the considerations and sensitivities in working with persons with disabilities.
ABW participants taking turns to share their experiences of arts for social impact through clay moulding. The activity used a mode of non-verbal communication that the arts can provide to persons with disabilities.
A panel discussion on “What is My Role as an Artist for Good” moderated by Rebecca Chew drew insights from artists working in diverse contexts. (From left) Jean Loo, Founder, Superhero Me; Dr Dawn-Joy Leong, Artist-Researcher, University of New South Wales; Rebecca Chew, Academy Principal, Singapore Teachers Academy for the Arts; Quek Ling Kiong, Resident Conductor, Singapore Chinese Orchestra; Oniatta Effendi, Senior Lecturer, Theatre, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Gregory Burns, Artist and Paralympian.
(In green shirt) Michael Cheng, Applied Drama Practitioner and ABW participant, leading the group in an ice breaker activity to kick start the four-day programme which brought the participants together to explore how the arts can create positive social change for people with disabilities.
Participants from the ABW programme came from various countries such as India, Indonesia and as far as Cyprus to share their experiences from diverse sectors in harnessing the power of the arts for social impact.
(Standing) Founder of Dignity Kitchen Koh Seng Choon sharing about building a socially conscious eatery where people with disabilities are trained to be independent entrepreneurs and are equipped with the skills to be gainfully employed and achieve financial independence.
As part of a night tour of Geylang led by social enterprise Geylang Adventures, ABW participants had a glimpse into the socio-economic, cultural and historical stories of Singapore, emphasising the importance of depth in supporting and collaborating with a community.
(Far right) Dr Goh Wei Leong, Founder of Health Serve sharing about the plight of migrant workers and how his clinic helps them with affordable healthcare support.
(Standing) Caroline Essame, Art and Occupational Therapist and Managing Director of Create CATT conducting a session on the considerations and sensitivities in working with persons with disabilities.
ABW participants taking turns to share their experiences of arts for social impact through clay moulding. The activity used a mode of non-verbal communication that the arts can provide to persons with disabilities.
A panel discussion on “What is My Role as an Artist for Good” moderated by Rebecca Chew drew insights from artists working in diverse contexts. (From left) Jean Loo, Founder, Superhero Me; Dr Dawn-Joy Leong, Artist-Researcher, University of New South Wales; Rebecca Chew, Academy Principal, Singapore Teachers Academy for the Arts; Quek Ling Kiong, Resident Conductor, Singapore Chinese Orchestra; Oniatta Effendi, Senior Lecturer, Theatre, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Gregory Burns, Artist and Paralympian.
Very Special Theatrics is established by ACT 3 Theatrics and Very Special Arts Singapore as the first inclusive theatre company in Singapore. Through the experiential learning session, ABW participants had the opportunity to immerse and engage with performers with disabilities.
A group of ABW participants trying their hand at a visual art exercise facilitated by (third from left) Muhammed Afham, Very Special Arts Artist, who found art as an outlet for the issues he had faced when he was younger.
(Fourth from left) Emily Perkin, Co-founder and General Manager of not-for-profit consultancy Just Cause facilitating a discussion on Theory of Change for the ABW participants.
(Standing) Justin Lee, Research Fellow at Institute of Policy Studies facilitating a workshop exploring forum theatre, visual diaries and other arts-based methods for impact measure.
Standing) Shahrin Johry, Principal Dancer at Maya Dance Theatre breaks the fourth wall and connects with an ABW participant during a showcase of an excerpt from their upcoming production Anwesha: Beyond the Darkness.
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