SINGAPORE: An estimated S$19 million has been paid out under the Community Engagement Masterplan, as at 31 December last year.
Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Lawrence Wong, was giving an update in response to a parliamentary question filed by Nominated Member of Parliament Janice Koh.
The programme was launched in April 2012, and aims to bring arts and culture closer to Singaporeans.
Mr Wong revealed around half of the funds have gone towards establishing networks of staff and volunteers to engage residents, and work with them to tailor programmes of interest to the local community.
Another 40 per cent of the funds has been used to support new programmes.
These include the creation of 85 community arts and culture clubs, and various community interest groups.
Mr Wong said these include art forms like pottery, theatre, singing and the ukelele.
Other programmes include over 450 Arts and Culture 101 programmes held at the National Library Board’s public libraries, and others targeted at youths, seniors and working adults.
The other 10 per cent has been used to develop and upgrade facilities under the Community Engagement Masterplan.
He cited the recently—opened Our Museum @ Taman Jurong as one such facility.
Ms Koh also asked: "My second question is related to manpower and whether or not the cultural officers that have been deployed or are hired to work at the CC level, have been given the requisite training as well as the exposure to the arts?"
Mr Wong replied: "I appreciate the point that these officers also need to be trained in arts at some level so that they understand not only the needs of community but also have a good understanding of arts, what’s happening in the arts space, who are the professionals in the arts sector that they can link up with, so it’s that kind of exposure and training we have done some but I think we can do more and we will continue to do so."
Mr Wong added the Ministry gauges the masterplan’s success through both quantitative and qualitative indicators.
Quantitative measures include the number of programmes supported and the number of Singaporeans the programmes have reached out to.
Whereas qualitative indicators include Singaporeans’ perception of arts and culture, which are captured in the National Arts Council’s biennial National Population Survey on the Arts.
Mr Wong added implementation agencies, like the National Arts Council and National Heritage Board, also have their own indicators for their respective initiatives under the masterplan.
In response to Ms Koh’s question on whether the indicators at the agency level will be made public, Mr Wong said they will do so, to the extent where it is possible.
Mr Wong said: "Collectively, all of these efforts contribute towards the long—term outcomes set out in our Arts and Culture Strategic Review (ACSR). By 2025, we hope that at least four out of every five Singaporeans will attend at least one arts and culture event, and at least half of all Singaporeans will participate actively in the arts."
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