Edwin Tong helps S’pore’s creatives shine with the Our SG Arts Plan

13/09/2023

Calling all local creatives out there: More places and opportunities for showcasing your skills are coming your way with the newly-launched Our SG Arts Plan (2023-2027).  

So are schemes for your career development and for you to connect with Singaporeans across Singapore. 

“We need to become more resourceful and resilient, so that we can weather another storm, if one does come along. And that is why we have the Arts Plan. For us to build a plan to sustain a strong creative economy, for there to be sustainable jobs and careers, in the arts,” said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong at the launch event this past week (Sept 5). 

Source: Edwin Tong / Facebook 

Singaporeans out there have already had a preview of Our SG Arts Plan. Music by local artists like Marian and YAØ now play across Singapore Mass Rapid Transit’s (SMRT) 125 train stations and bus interchanges, enlivening the daily journeys of 3 million commuters — and translating into much more streaming potential for these artists. 

“Artists must be able to secure jobs” 

Indeed, the Plan’s overall design for inclusivity and sustainability benefits local creatives tangibly with its three strategic thrusts

Source: National Arts Council 

In particular, the Creative Economy thrust is about helping Singapore’s artistic talent innovate and excel. Career progression pathways and the new Skills Framework for Arts learning opportunities feature here, as well as new business models for more arts sector jobs and growing the international demand for Singapore’s arts practitioners.    

“There must be a strong value proposition for the arts to be sustained, to remain economically viable. Artists must be able to secure jobs and develop a strong career in the arts,” said Minister Tong. 

It is a pragmatic statement of fact from a man who is a longtime big-picture planner for Singapore’s arts scene, and who helped arts practitioners with the Arts and Culture Resilience Package when the pandemic put their livelihoods at risk. This Creative Economy thrust builds the firm and necessary ground from which artists can dig in, lift off and then fly free to pursue their visions.  

In step with Forward Singapore

This edition of the Our SG Arts Plan builds upon feedback given by over 16,500 stakeholders from all over, including members of the public, civil servants as well as artists and leaders of cultural organisations. It was important that the Plan reflected the multiple aspirations for arts development in Singapore. 

“The plan demonstrates our commitment and dedication to public engagement through the creation process. National Arts Council (NAC) has made it a point to engage widely, we consulted deeply. Many came back to us and gave us words of advice and suggestions, told us about their aspirations, said Minister Tong. 

“We are indeed very heartened, and we feel a heavy responsibility of stewardship to make all these aspirations come true.” 

Our SG Arts Plan, then, is in the spirit of an even larger-scale national exercise. They both have Singaporeans, sector experts and our Government all talking and working together to forge a stronger social compact for the next steps in the shared national journey — where the direction is always forward.