September 24, 2023

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Singapore’s Arts Plan Takes a Digital Leap

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In the ever-evolving landscape of Singapore’s cultural scene, the intersection of art and technology is taking centre stage. At the launch of the “Our SG Arts Plan for 2023-2027”, Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth, unveiled a bold vision for the future of the arts in Singapore. One of the plan’s highlights is the introduction of CATCH, a groundbreaking digital platform poised to revolutionise the way Singaporeans engage with arts and culture.

Art, as Minister Edwin emphasised, has always been an integral part of Singaporean society. It serves as a reflection of individual and collective identities, bringing people together, transcending differences, and enriching lives. The power of art lies in its ability to challenge assumptions, ignite passions, and contribute to the vibrancy of the creative economy. As such, nurturing the arts is not merely a cultural endeavour; it is an investment in Singapore’s future.

“Singapore’s Arts Plan for 2023-2027 represents a dynamic and forward-looking vision for the arts. It recognises the evolving role of art in society and embraces technology as a catalyst for change,” said Minister Edwin. With CATCH at its core, this plan is set to transform the way Singaporeans interact with arts and culture, ensuring that art remains an integral part of their lives in an increasingly digital age.

The first iteration of the Arts Plan launched in 2018, laid the foundation for a vibrant arts sector. It focused on inspiring people, connecting communities, and positioning Singapore globally. Over the years, this plan has borne fruit, resulting in a growing arts sector with diverse offerings and increased visitorship.

However, the world has changed significantly since then. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the arts in unforeseen ways and accelerated the fusion of technology and art. In response to these shifts, the Arts Plan for 2023-2027 takes a forward-looking approach to redefine the role of art in society and the economy.

The plan comprises three thrusts:

  • A Creative Economy: The first thrust recognises the maturation of Singapore’s arts sector. It aims to elevate the sector by fostering excellence, innovation, and collaboration within the broader creative industry. For the arts to remain economically viable, there must be a strong value proposition, allowing artists to secure jobs and develop sustainable careers.
  • A Distinctive City: The second thrust seeks to infuse the arts into everyday spaces. Singaporeans increasingly seek out art experiences in their daily lives, not limited to museums and galleries. This initiative aims to integrate art into the city’s spaces, structures, and streetscapes, making art a part of everyday life.
  • A Connected Society: The third thrust recognises the arts as a unifying force, countering socio-economic tensions and strengthening communities. By championing accessible and quality arts initiatives, the plan aims to deepen the nation’s shared identity through art and culture, fostering a more connected society.

What sets this Arts Plan apart, according to Minister Edwin is its emphasis on inclusivity, partnership, and growth; and the key innovation within the Arts Plan is the introduction of CATCH, a digital platform designed to aggregate arts and culture content in Singapore that aims to become the go-to platform for arts and culture enthusiasts, offering curated creative experiences tailored to individual preferences. It represents a visionary step toward harnessing technology to enhance arts engagement.

The Minister stressed that in a world where digital platforms are increasingly shaping how people access and appreciate art, CATCH is poised to be a game-changer. It not only aggregates diverse content but also personalises the art experience, making it more accessible and engaging for everyone. The goal is for CATCH to become the ultimate “killer app” for arts and culture in Singapore, opening doors to a world of creative possibilities.

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